Electric collar ban steps up despite Bill failure
A BILL to ban electric shock training collars for dogs fell in parliament two weeks ago due to lack of Government support. Despite this, however, pace continues to gather in the world of politics for a ban on electric shock collars as the Kennel Club’s campaign continues to call for a ban on these devices in England, as plans are advanced for a total ban on their use in Scotland and Wales.
Working closely with the Kennel Club, Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP for Portsmouth North saw the second reading of her Private Members Bill that proposed a ban on electric shock training devices.
During the debate, Sarah McCarthy-Fry said: ‘I have a seven-year-old dog called Dudley, and I cannot imagine using an electric shock collar on him. These collars are barbaric; they train dogs to respond out of fear rather than a natural willingness to behave.’
The second reading of the Bill has gained further strong cross party support for a ban, as is the political intention by the Assemblies in Wales and Scotland, from Bob Spink MP (Conservative), Norman Baker MP (Liberal Democrats), and Sadiq Kahn MP (Labour) amongst others.
Sarah McCarthy Fry later said: ‘It became increasingly clear during my speech that there is widespread support across much of the House, not just on the Labour benches, for this legislation. Whilst the Minister didn’t believe legislation was appropriate at this stage, I do hope DEFRA will see fit to consult on this issue in the same way the Welsh and Scottish devolved institutions will be doing. I’d like to thank the Kennel Club which has worked tirelessly on this issue.’
However, despite much backbench support, like many other Private Members Bills it was defeated because it does not yet have the support of the Government. DEFRA had previously issued a statement saying that it effectively did not trust evidence put forward by dog training experts about the collars being harmful to dogs.
The Bill’s second reading marks the second time the issue has been raised in the House of Commons in the past month. Andrew Rossindell MP expressed his views that electric shock collars should be banned during his recent adjournment debate on the welfare of dogs.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary did not see the Bill’s failure as a defeat. She commented: ‘We are delighted that Sarah McCarthy-Fry agreed to put down her Bill on electric shock training devices and that this has cross party support. We hope that this will put further pressure on DEFRA to completely ban the sale and use of these cruel training devices.’