MP urges ministers to step up plans to ban 'cruel' electric dog collars

A Black Country MP has urged the Government to ban the use of "cruel" electric shock collars on dogs "without further delays".

John Spellar MP
John Spellar MP

A ban on the training devices, which deliver an electric shock to a dog’s neck, was agreed by ministers in 2018 but has yet to come into effect.

Now John Spellar MP has demanded urgent action on the collars, which campaigners say are inhumane and can lead to worsening behaviour in dogs.

At a Westminster event, the Labour MP for Warley joined campaigners from The Kennel Club, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the British Veterinary Association and Blue Cross, to call for an England-wide ban.

He said: "I am proud to support this coalition of animal welfare charities in the fight to ban electric shock collars. The Government agreed to ban shock collars in 2018 but we are still waiting for this to happen.

"There’s lots of evidence that shows that shock collars not only harm our four-legged friends, but by creating a fear response in dogs, they have the potential to make behaviour worse.

"That’s why I am backing the call to ban these cruel devices without further delays."

Electric shock collars are used to train dogs by punishing unwanted behaviours through the application of a shock to the dog’s neck.

However, campaigners point to studies showing that the devices can have a serious impact on the welfare of dogs, including behavioural and physiological signs of distress.

Opponents of the ban include the National Sheep Association (NSA). They have warned that in Wales, where a ban is already in place, there has been an increase in both attacks on sheep and the number of dogs shot by farmers.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker, said it would be "madness" to ban an "effective and proven way" of training dogs to be wary of sheep.

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