After Scotland’s decision to ban the use and sale of shock collars last month, England seems to be set to follow suit in what would be a huge victory for the #BanShockCollars campaign.

The Kennel Club wrote in a note that they are “delighted” by reports that the UK Government is looking at the issue.

“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,” a statement reads.

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

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, added, “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.”

It’s high time these devices actually were banned and I’m looking forward to see what Michael Gove and the Prime Minister have to say on this very issue, so we can’t get complacent just yet

Ross Thomson, MP for Aberdeen South, was instrumental in moving the campaign to ban these devices to Westminster after Scotland’s decision. He is thrilled by the reports, but warns supporters not to get too complacent.

“We’re not quite there yet,” he said in a video statement on Twitter. “It’s high time these devices actually were banned and I’m looking forward to see what Michael Gove and the Prime Minister have to say on this very issue, so we can’t get complacent just yet. Let’s keep this campaign going and keep the momentum going.”

You can find more information on the campaign, and sign the petition, here.

EDIT – 12/03/18

On Sunday 11 March, Defra announced proposals to ban the use of these devices.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said, “We’re delighted that the Government has listened to the concerns raised by us and other animal welfare organisations and has launched a consultation to ban the use of electric shock collars in England.

“These cruel collars have been illegal in Wales since 2010 and the RSPCA has long been calling for them to be outlawed in England too. Electric shock collars used to train and control cats and dogs are not only unacceptable as they can cause pain and fear, they are also unnecessary for long term behavioural change.

“A survey carried out for the RSPCA’s #DogKind report found that while 88% of dog owners agreed that training shouldn’t frighten, worry or hurt dogs, a worrying 5% said they used electric shock collars. We hope that this move will consign electric shock collars to the history books as they have no place in modern day pet ownership.”

A consultation into the collars has now been opened by Defra and will close on April 20.

Image by the Kennel Club.

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