Time for a Ban on Electric Shock Collars, the Public tells Westminster

(Kennel Club Press Release) Overwhelming public support for a government ban on these cruel dog devices finds Kennel Club research.

The Kennel Club has commissioned an independent survey into the public’s opinion of electric shock collars for dogs, which found that:

72% of the English public disapprove of the use of electric shock collars on dogs

79% agree that positive reinforcement training methods can address behavioural issues in dogs without the need for negative training methods

74% of the public would support the government introducing a ban on electric shock collars

The Kennel Club is urging the government to take action after research found that a significant majority of the general public in England are against the use of electric shock collars for dogs and would support the government in introducing a ban on these devices.

The Kennel Club is against the use of negative training methods or devices, and believes that they are both irresponsible and ineffective.

There a large number of positive training tools and methods that can produce well-trained dogs with absolutely no fear, pain or potential damage to the relationship between dog and handler.

Furthermore, some of the most highly trained dogs in the world, including police dogs, armed forces dogs and assistance dogs are trained without the use of electric shock collars.

Dog wearing an electric shock collar (C) Kennel Club Picture Library

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published two research studies last year which demonstrated negative behavioural and physiological changes in dogs which were trained with electric shock collars.

The research also showed that even when electric shock collars were used on dogs by professional trainers following an industry standard, there were still long term negative welfare effects.

Despite this, Westminster has still to take action and follow in Wales’ footsteps in banning electric shock collars, and the Kennel Club hopes that the findings of its new research will let the government know that the public would be behind them on a ban.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “The results are absolutely clear. A large majority of the public are against the use of electric shock collars and would support the government in banning these cruel devices.

“The government’s current proposal and response to its own funded research is to work on creating guidance with the electric shock collar manufacturers regarding how to best use these tools without compromising the dog’s welfare.

This does not reflect what the public wants and the Kennel Club and other major welfare organisations and parliamentarians believe this would fail in protecting dog welfare, as the Defra research itself has shown.

“It is time for the government to stop delaying what the evidence has highlighted is needed, and what the public has clearly said it wants – a ban on the use of electric shock collars.”

Electric shock collars are already outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, and in most states in Australia.

The survey follows the introduction of Matthew Offord MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill last month calling for a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars, which will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday February 28th.

More information on the Kennel Club’s campaign to ban electric shock collars can be found here.

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6 replies

  1. I am all for the ban of these collars but the Kennel Club and Defra ought to think more about breeding licences for every litter, passports for every dog and curbing the amount of breeding then there would be less dogs in kennels, less bad breeding, less rescue dogs of which all these can add to behaviour problems.

  2. I can understand people wanting to restrict the sale of Remote Training Collars (RTCs) to only those qualified to use them (canine professionals) but I cannot understand the logic in banning them totally. I save the lives of at least 50 dogs a year using a Remote Training Collars and I have been using RTCs for at least the last 18 years without a single failure. Now admittedly I’m an ex-Police Dog Handler with 33 years service behind me so I know what I’m doing…. and I firmly believe that RTCs should not be sold to the general public or anyone who is untrained to use one….. but banning them completely would be to remove a critical tool used by canine professionals all around the world.

    Sadly I see the people who decry the RTCs the most are the positive-only trainers who have never used an RTC and who just see the RTC as the antithesis to their ideology…… this does not mean that they do not work and work well in the hands of a skilled user.

    The High Court here in Australia has deemed that RTCs and other electronic dog training devices such as Electronic Anti-bark collars and containment systems are valid and humane training devices when used as intended. They made this judgement when the RSPCA here in Australia made a large number of very negative claims about RTCs (similar to your Kennel Club claims against RTCs there) which were all proven in the Australian High Court to have no factual basis what so ever. (If you doubt the veracity of this then please contact me and I will forward to you the links to the High Court decision in the case of Innotec V’s RSPCA Australia.

  3. I really hope they get banned.
    I’ve been following this topic for years now, and DEFRA are just dragging their feet.

    A few years ago, I asked for all the information from the Scottish consult to be sent to me (anyone could do this). I did not find one letter, not one, that made me alter my mind about banning shock collars. In every case where a pet owner had said the collars were useful, the problem was that they believed their dogs would automatically understand things. In other words, they did not bother to train their dogs!

    I hope for a ban on these devices and hope for it very soon.

  4. Making a dog to afraid to move isn’t training a dog. Using positive reinforcement and force free training will teach your dog how to behave and strengthen the owner dog relationship. Shock collars lead to unpredictable behaviour and thus a ticking time bomb.

  5. I support a total ban on these terrible devices. I have worked as a dog behaviourist for ten years now and during this time have helped to rehabilitate over 1,000 aggressive dogs. I have NEVER EVER had to use any such device to rehabilitate an aggressive dog. It simply is not necessary and there are other far better approaches to use. Please ban them so that people can’t exacerbate problems with the ill informed use of e collars.

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