Released to press on 24 January 2016
91 percent of surveyed dog trainers support a ban on shock collars.
A leading animal protection charity is urging the Scottish public to express their views on electronic training aids for cats and dogs before a consultation on the issue ends this week. The Scottish Government is considering a ban on the use of such devices and is currently seeking formal views on whether the technology should be subject to tighter controls, or even prohibited altogether.
Ahead of the public consultation closing on Friday (29 January) OneKind, which supports an outright ban, has revealed that its position on e-collars is widely supported by professional dog trainers who are largely opposed to their use in training.
OneKind director Harry Huyton said: "E-collars have the potential to inflict a huge amount of suffering and stress on animals. It's shocking that these devices can be freely bought and used with minimal regulation. Our survey shows that professionals agree that there is no place for shock collars in a modern society.”
Harry Huyton continued: "Positive, reward based training is a far more effective training method and this view is largely supported by the majority of dog trainers."
In a survey of dog trainers, carried out by OneKind, 91 percent of the 23 respondents supported a ban on the use of electric shock collars. Dog trainer Adrianne Beattie from Paw Management is opposed to the use of shock collars: “My work in behaviour often sees dogs that have had such devices used on them. It takes a long time, patience and commitment, not to mention costs to the owner, to put right what is often destroyed by one push of the button.”
Evidence suggests that aversive training can result in increased stress compared to positive reinforcement methods. Aversive training can make an aggressive dog more aggressive while unintentionally creating negative associations with a particular event.
Kirsty MacQueen from Puppy School added: "Shock collars are unnecessary and we can't control what the dog associates with the aversive training. We can try to make the correct association but can never be totally sure that we aren't accidentally going to create a dog that is aggressive."
OneKind is pleased the Scottish Government has delivered on its commitment to review the use of e-collars for cats and dogs and hopes it will see this as an opportunity to ban their use in Scotland in favour of more positive, less aversive training methods. The consultation closes on Friday 29 January 2016.
Notes to editor:
1. OneKind is a Scottish animal welfare charity based working to end animal suffering everywhere through campaigns, research and education.
2. The consultation Potential controls or prohibition of electronic training aids in Scotland can be viewed on the Scottish Government's website.
3. OneKind surveyed X dog trainers, of the 23 dog trainers that responded, 91 percent believe shock collars should be banned and 83 percent believe anti-bark collars should be banned.
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