With both Wales and Scotland prohibiting electric shock collars used for animal training, England was the only country in the UK not on board with the ban. A group of lawmakers and animal advocates, however, are pushing to change that.
A plan is in the works to bring about a ban that will unite the UK in a stance against the unnecessary suffering caused by shock collars used for dog training.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced on Sunday the government’s confirmed intentions to stand by its neighboring countries and protect the well-being of animals. He told Metro News,
“We are a nation of animal lovers, and the use of these punitive devices can cause harm and suffering, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to our pets.”
Shock collars sold online and in stores are used by certain trainers and dog owners in an attempt to staunch unwanted behaviors in their pets. The collars come with a remote control and deliver a jolt of electricity via two electrodes into the dog’s neck. Some people claim the shocks teach a dog how to be well behaved, but most experts agree shock collars are actually ineffective at training and cause more harm than good.
The shocks need to be delivered at the exact right time, and when they’re not, the dog experiences extreme pain for a reason they’re incapable of understanding. They become confused, stressed, and anxious, and the behavioral problems aren’t solved. There’s also the risk of the collars burning the dog’s skin and worsening existing health problems.
Most reputable dog trainers say positive reinforcement training is more effective than shock training—not to mention, it’s humane. Secretary of the Kennel Club, Caroline Kisko, told The Guardian,
“Training a dog with an electric shock collar causes physical and psychological harm and is never acceptable, especially given the vast array of positive training methods available. We are delighted that the government has listened to the Kennel Club’s long standing campaign to ban electric shock collars and hope that a ban on their use is imposed swiftly.”
The details of the proposed ban are currently being arranged, and the country’s animal advocates are optimistic the government will bring positive change for the lives of millions of animals. With the UK firmly expressing their intolerance to shock training, the goal is for the idea to spread to other countries and continents.