Shock no more!

Calls to ban the sale and use of electric shock dog collars in England are being debated in the House of Commons. Matthew Offord - Conservative MP for Hendon - is presenting the argument during a 'ten-minute rule' bill.

He is being backed by dog welfare organisations: Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club. 

The Bill follows the publication of research funded by DEFRA, which shows that the collars can cause severe behavioural and physiological changes in dogs.

Mr Offord said that DEFRA was ignoring its own research. He stated: "In 2013, DEFRA published its two studies which showed that electric shock collars can cause some dogs negative welfare issues even when trained by a professional using 'relatively benign training programmes', so therefore many would deem them unsafe.

"Very few people who buy these devices would have the skill set of an experienced training and behaviour adviser, so there would surely be a heightened chance of long-term negative impacts. "... As a dog will have no idea what has caused the pain, it is far more likely to associate it with something in its immediate environment than to connect it with its own behaviour at the time.

"This is why cases of dogs attacking other dogs, their owner, or another animal close by at the time of the shock are common." It is believed there are several hundred thousand electronic dog collars in use in the UK.

Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club believe positive training methods have a greater influence over a dog's behaviour than the collars. The sale and use of electronic dog collars was banned in Wales in 2010.

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