|UK to ban shock collars ‘within weeks’ says report
Electric shock collars are to be banned in the UK according to reports.
The Sun has reported that Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will announce a ban 'within weeks'.
This follows the recent announcement of a ban in Scotland on the devices. They have been illegal in Wales since 2010.
In recent weeks great pressure has been put on the government to bring in a ban.
Last week The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust lobbied MPs about the issue and the Conservative MP leading the campaign in Parliament, Ross Thomson MP, met Michael Gove last Wednesday in order to, 'make the case directly that it's time for the UK Government to ban these unnecessary devices.'
Dogs Trust launched its #ShockinglyLegal campaign urging people to tweet their MP and call for a ban.
A petition that was launched calling for a ban has reached over 7,500 signatures, at the time of writing, and the Labour party recently announced that as part of its animal welfare strategy they would ban shock collars.
Mr Thomson has been able to enlist the support of cabinet big hitters such as the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who compared the use of shock collars to caning a child.
A consultation will be launched on the terms of the ban with Defra looking in to introducing a total import ban on the devices and a possible amnesty.
In a statement the Kennel Club, who have campaigned for a ban for over a decade, said, 'The Kennel Club is delighted that, following a meeting with Rt Hon Michael Gove and Ross Thomson MP just last week, it is understood that a ban on both the sale and use of shock collars is to be announced across the UK shortly, following a consultation period on the terms of such a ban, including a total import ban and a possible amnesty.
'The Kennel Club has campaigned for many years that shock collars are an outdated, unnecessary and cruel way of training a dog, with extensive Defra funded research proving they are ineffective training devices which can cause more problems than they seek to correct. Wales introduced a ban on the use of shock collars in 2010, and Scotland announced its intention to do so just a few weeks ago. However, neither were able to ban the sale of these devices as only Westminster has the power to do so.
'The Kennel Club looks forward to welcoming MPs from all parties early next month to a shock collar drop-in session where they can show their support for a ban. The Kennel Club will be joined at the session by a cross-party group of MPs, and dog focused welfare organisations including Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Dogs Trust, Edinburgh Dogs & Cats Home, and the Scottish Kennel Club as well as the BVA, renowned behaviourist Carolyn Menteith and leading researcher into electric shock collars, Dr Jonathan Cooper.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: 'Electric shock collars are banned in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Germany and in some territories of Australia, including New South Wales and Southern Australia - as well as of course Wales, and soon Scotland. It really is time that England follows suit and we are delighted that at last, it is proposed that they do so.
'Given the current debate around animal sentience, now is the right time to recognise that dogs are sentient beings, with a capacity to feel physical and psychological distress. Devices that cause this, in the name of dog training, when so many positive training methods and devices are available are simply unnecessary. We applaud Defra as we understand they are planning to ban shock collars after a consultation on the terms, and for taking such a strong stance on the importance of welfare in dog training.'
Martha Brindley, KCAI Trainer of the Year last year, has long campaigned for a ban and she told OUR DOGS, 'I'm jumping up and down with delight. I must admit I shed a tear when I walked the dogs. I can't stop smiling.
'All the campaigning has certainly helped and pressure has been put on. They couldn't ignore the public who took time to write to their MP.
'It is just amazing. The campaign has been hard going but we must make sure the legislation makes it clear they can't continue to sell these collars.
'I will be going to Crufts on wings!'
Mr Thomson was also delighted with the news that a ban was on its way, 'This is fantastic news. Thank you to @DogsTrust and @TheKennelClubUK for all their help. The support from colleagues and the public has been overwhelming. Looking forward to what @michaelgove says shortly #BanShockCollars #shockinglylegal.'
The ban could be announced as soon as next week and a source told The Sun, 'we are the party of animal welfare and this is going to happen.'
Recently, the government has announced a raft of upcoming animal welfare measures including an increase to the maximum sentence for animal cruelty and they are also considering a ban on third party sales.