THE CONSULTATION on draft regulations to ban the use of electronic devices used to train animals by aversive techniques in Wales is nearing its end. The draft regulations would result in vets being ultimately responsible for prescribing electric shock training devices in Wales.
The Kennel Club have been campaigning against the sale and use of these devices for many years and the regulations are an extremely welcome and positive step forward in the campaign to ban electric training devices completely in the UK. Wales has set a precedent and the regulations (if passed) will not only put an end to the current suffering of dogs at the hands of these devices, but will also act as a deterrent for anyone contemplating using one.
However, the Kennel Club believes that the regulations could be made stronger and that there are potential loopholes. This would allow an owner to use an electric shock collar if it was recommended by a vet. The Kennel Club has had discussions with a number of members of the veterinary profession who have raised serious concerns over this issue and the level of responsibility it places upon them. There are also concerns that vets, while extremely well qualified, are not behaviourists and may not have sufficient understanding of behavioural problems. There is also the real risk that some vets may become known to prescribe shock collars and be targeted by pet owners and trainers wishing to use them.
The Welsh Assembly Government is consulting on banning the use of electronic devices used to train animals ‘by aversive techniques’ in Wales. The ‘Consultation on the Animal Welfare (Electronic Devices) (Wales) Regulations 2009’ closes on 27th May. Full details can be found at: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/environmentandcountryside/awshockcollardraftregs2009
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: ‘We are delighted that the Minister has issued draft regulations which will regulate the use of electric shock collars and other devices. However, we are concerned that the public will still be able to obtain these products via a ‘prescription’ from their vet. This will inevitably place a significant level of responsibility upon the veterinary profession and we believe that it is vital that vets make their views on this issue known as part of the consultation process.’
For further information, please contact the External Affairs department on 0870 606 6750 ext 301 or visit www.banshockcollars.org.uk.
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