What do you think? Norwich MP backs ban on electric shock dog collars

Norwich MP Simon Wright Norwich MP Simon Wright

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
5:03 PM

Animal-loving MPs have called for a ban on electric shock collars that are used to discipline dogs.

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Conservative MP Dr Matthew Offord said there was sufficient evidence to show that the device had a negative impact on the welfare of some canines, and that there were a number of alternatives that did not resort to administering electric shocks to get them to behave.

Norwich South MP Simon Wright, who sponsored the bill said there were thought to be around 300,000 electric shock dog collars in the UK. Animal welfare organisations, including the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, are calling for a ban on their use.

Mr Wright said: “I’m very pleased to be supporting this Bill. Electric shock collars cause real pain to dogs, and there is evidence that they don’t necessarily lead to the behaviour change that is intended.

“In fact, there is evidence to show that shock collars can be the cause of behaviour problems as a result of dogs’ ‘fight or flight’ instincts. Dogs have been known to respond by acting aggressively towards their owner or towards other dogs that may be present when the shock is applied.

“There are much kinder and more effective training methods available to dog owners which can have a more positive influence over a dog’s behaviour.”

Mr Offord said: “In reality, dogs exercised near livestock should always be kept on leads, it’s as simple as that.

“There should be no need for an electric shock collar. There are other positive training tools and methods that can produce dogs that are trained just as quickly and reliably, with absolutely no fear, pain or potential damage to the relationship between dog and handler. Police dogs and armed forces’ dogs are never trained using electric shock devices.”

The Hendon MP said that in answer to a written parliamentary question on what progress had been made on banning the devices, he was told that two studies commissioned by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) would not justify an outright ban - although Wales banned them in 2010.

“Whilst acknowledging that electronic aides can have a negative impact on the welfare of some dogs, it was stated that the evidence from these studies is not strong enough to support a ban under the Animal Welfare Act 2006,” he said.

“The Government, therefore, has no plans to ban such devices in England, however Defra has asked the industry to draw up guidance for dog owners and traders advising how to use electronic dog collars properly and to develop a manufacturers’ charter to ensure any electronic collars on sale are made to high standards.”

Mr Offord, who is himself the owner of a Jack Russell called Maximus, added: “The first Defra project concluded that there was great variability at how electric shock collars are used on dogs and showed that owners tended to not read or follow the advice in the instruction guidance.

“The main conclusion was that there are significant negative welfare consequences for some of the dogs that are trained with electric dog collars in this study.

“The second study was designed to use electric shock collars on dogs by trained professionals according to industry standards. For this reason the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association was asked to design both the training protocol as well as recommend industry-trained professionals to take part in the study.

“The research project concluded that there was enough evidence both in the behaviour and psychological changes to argue that the use of electric shock collars, even by industry-trained professionals, still had a negative impact on dog welfare.

“Therefore, it remains the view of The Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust, the British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA that electric shock collars are negative training devices which have a detrimental impact on dog welfare.”

Its second reading is scheduled for February 28, but it is unlikely to make further progress without Government support.

In 2011, Mr Offord invoked the Human Rights Act when he was told that he could not take his dog to work, despite pleas that it helped to take “the stress out of the day”.

27 comments

  • This implement should not be used on a dog, its not needed unless the dog is off the leash. At present the Lib Dems might dream of using it on certain sexpests who are showing us what sort of persons are allowed to fester away in a politicial party.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • MP's are fair game for any criticism, they put themselves forward for a job representing the people, earning shed loads of our cash, and then jump on the nearest available bandwagon-until it starts to stutter, and then they hijack another one. I know someone's got to do the job in the current democracy, I wish they were all like the Honourable member for Bolsover used to be. Grrrr!

    Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Its a pity they don't use one on Mr Wright, he might answer his mail or get someone to do it for him. He is always available for 'photo calls though!

    Report this comment

    Cannot Say

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • If you don’t have a dog and you’ve not used this type of collar then you shouldn’t pass comment. I have a young Vizsla that takes a lot of exercise. He also clears a lot of distance in a very short time. I walk him on open fields where there is no livestock. However, I use an electric collar. Reason being that as a hunting dog he will often disturb birds or Deer. The problem then is that once he disturbs something he will chase it and be totally focussed. He will ignore his whistle which he normally responds to. The collar I use beeps, vibrates and then shocks. When he is in the “zone” you use the beep first followed by vibrate, and then the shock as a last resort. It breaks the concentration and brings him to a stop immediately. The other day if he hadn’t been shocked he would have chased across a major A road and probably been killed or caused a pile up. They need to be used sensibly. If you use it to punish the dog then you should expect to be bitten.

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    Andy T

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • since the subject is animal cruelty maybe simon wright would also like to add to the bill a proposed ban on the barbaric slaughter of animals in this country for halal meat

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    milecross

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Wright will be voting to gag local democracy during the 2015 general election again today. He has nothing to say about the tens of thousands of seriously ill who aren't receiving the drugs they should be on the NHS. But if you want to save the cheque or ban electronic dog tags, Simon is your man. Lib Dem? Never again.

    Report this comment

    Richard Clifford

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Helo Andy At last someone who has common sense has said something constructive. We live in the New Forest and have two fantastic Rottweilers who are both loved tremendously. Both Rotties have received extensive training and have their training certificates to prove it. In normal conditions they are absolutely perfectly behaved but when in the forest and they pick up the scent of deer they are away. Normally they pick up a scent when downwind and consequently we usually are downwind of the Rotties, the end result is that they sometimes do not hear the STOP command or the whistle BUT one touch of the beeper command on the collars will bring them back to us safely and soundly. We have also used the collars when our boy had TPLO surgery and could not be allowed to run off, a simple beep command meant that he could be off the lead and if he looked like bolting then a STOP command and if he ignored that a simple beep and he would return to our side. Collars should not be used for simple training but as an aid out in the open they have a lot to recommend them. Personally I would like to fit collars to the individuals who have small yappy dogs that are picked up whenever ours appear and who then chastise us for having 2 Rotties, A simple shock to their owners might educate them in the correct way to treat dogs. Also is not a choke chain with inverted studs not also cruel if used incorrectly. Teach people the correct way to use the shock collars but dont ban them.

    Report this comment

    MartinW

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Those collars are totally barbaric and there is no way I would have one anywhere near my dog. Although I have to admit I could happily use one on some of the idiot dog owners we meet ,totally irresponsible some of them .for once I agree with. DR all dogs should be licensed and chipped by law ,then again the idiot owners wouldn't bother ,leaving the rest of us to do it ..

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Quite right too, and not necessary. But by Jove some owners could do with one. Observing the responses on a community website to a suggestion that dogs should not be allowed to run free on beaches and footpaths,( presenting an inconvenience and potential danger to other dogs, children and livestock) -well you would think dogs took precedence over everything else, including children. Obsessive doesn't cover it. We need compulsory dog licences, compulsory third party insurance, responsible ownership with accountability and proper respect for the dog as an animal rather than a cuddly toy or a weapon or a sad thing to be beaten

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Helo Andy At last someone who has common sense has said something constructive. We live in the New Forest and have two fantastic Rottweilers who are both loved tremendously. Both Rotties have received extensive training and have their training certificates to prove it. In normal conditions they are absolutely perfectly behaved but when in the forest and they pick up the scent of deer they are away. Normally they pick up a scent when downwind and consequently we usually are downwind of the Rotties, the end result is that they sometimes do not hear the STOP command or the whistle BUT one touch of the beeper command on the collars will bring them back to us safely and soundly. We have also used the collars when our boy had TPLO surgery and could not be allowed to run off, a simple beep command meant that he could be off the lead and if he looked like bolting then a STOP command and if he ignored that a simple beep and he would return to our side. Collars should not be used for simple training but as an aid out in the open they have a lot to recommend them. Personally I would like to fit collars to the individuals who have small yappy dogs that are picked up whenever ours appear and who then chastise us for having 2 Rotties, A simple shock to their owners might educate them in the correct way to treat dogs. Also is not a choke chain with inverted studs not also cruel if used incorrectly. Teach people the correct way to use the shock collars but dont ban them.

    Report this comment

    MartinW

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Instructions. To be used on MPs only !

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    che bramley

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Why must MP's talk about things they know nothing about?

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Good grief Footyboy, lucky for the poor old dog you were around-a lab can generally be trained with words and a kind manner and maybe an odd treat-using collars to shock them is nasty. As for the MP- unfair to judge a chap on his appearance or even his manner and background-nicely is as nicely does. Alongside sponsoring this bill he should be calling as Mr Offord mentioned, for the law to be changed so that dogs have to be on a lead on ROWs where there are livestock At present the law only demands they be " under control" which means they can be off the lead and effectively not under control. The absurdity is that if the owner of land over which a ROW passes has a dog which walkers don't like the look of, along comes the footpath officer with accusations of intimidating walkers-but let a dog chase cows or ponies and they don't care. Cambridgeshire footpath officers even advise against putting up a polite notice asking for dogs to be on leads on paths across the curtilage of domestic and farm dwellings-in case the notice "intimidates walkers".

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Very good post, 'Reader'. Only tempered by the fact that every single dog owner would say exactly the same thing.

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    backwoodsman

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • John, if we waited for them to talk about something they had any idea about, we would be waiting a long time! MP's live in a protected fantasy world with no comprehension of ordinary folk. I mean, just look at him! Harry Enfield posh bloke, or what?

    Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • I think Mr Wright would be better off trying to ban the police from electrocuting innocent people with their tasers.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • As mentioned before I expect, some owners should try putting these electirc shock collars on, I found a lost dog once, it was a lovely black labrador and unknown to me it had one of these electric shock collars on and obviously it gone out of range of its garden and every so often this collar would send a shock into the dog and it was crying and shreeking and howling and going mad, I was trying to look on this collar for a name and address not knowing I was going to get this voltage up my arm. the Police were called and they told me to cut it off the dog which I did, then the owner said that weren't happy I had cut the collar so the Police said we told him to cut it off.. no need for electric collars apart from putting them on some idiot dog owners who can not take care of the pet.

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    Footyboy16

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • If you haven’t used one you can’t really comment. I have a young Vizler that needs a lot of exercise, and I use a collar with three options. Vibrate, buzz and shock. He loves open fields but gets excited if he picks up the scent of something. On one occasion he found a deer and went off after it. He was so focused that he ignored his whistle. He then ignored the buzzing collar and the vibrate mode. It was only by applying the shock to him that I got his attention and he stopped dead. He then came back on his whistle. Big dogs cover ground quickly and he had cleared about 150 yards of open field. Had he not stopped, he was heading at a gallop to cross a major road where he would most likely have been killed and caused a crash. Used properly and sensibly they can help. If you abuse them then the dog is rightly going to bite you. He doesn't have a dog. He has a Jack Russell !

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • A choke chain when walking, and a rolled up newspaper for a swift THWACK in the house is all you need for dogs.

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    Lord Elf

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Typical Tory ! Wanting a better life for animals and mankind alike . Congratulations for standing up for it Simon . A Conservative vote for me .

    Report this comment

    Euro

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • A limp liberal ! but are,nt they all !...but the collars ! a big NO from me

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Nick Clegg needs one to control badly behaved Lords

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    grasshopper

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • I am not going to get into the political side of this. But, of course these barbaric collars should be banned, they are used by lazy people who cannot be bothered to go to proper training classes. If their dog constantly barks it is because it is unhappy and needs more love and attention. I wonder why some people have dogs as many are just left in the garden and never taken for walks or cared for properly. Put these collars on the owners and see how they like it.

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    Lynda

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • These awful things should never be in existence! Nothing is achieved by cruelty only a distressed and frightened animal. Training with rewards, such as clicker training, is the best way forward and the dogs soon realise that if they do as their owners ask, they will be rewarded.

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    Mr Bobby

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Electric shock collars on MPs who fail to represent the electorate, that's something I would support

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    Adam L

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • this will probably be on the front page of the liberal democrat election leaflet . Maybe they should rename themselves as the monster raving libdem party

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Euro, this is an article about Simon Wright, Lib Dem MP. And on the strength of this you are going to vote Conservative! Either you are bonkers or really really keen on the coalition or both. Probably both.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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