Once again, the Kennel Club cannot understand WHY Defra will not take notice of the increasing political pressure to ban remote control electric shock collars and anti-bark electric shock collars under the Animal Welfare Bill.

Not only has Defra been receiving copies of letters from MP’s constituents highlighting their concerns about electric shock collars, the petition (otherwise known as an Early Day Motion) tabled by Tony Baldry MP has now attracted signatures from 88 MPs.

It clearly states that they: condemn the sale and use of remote control electric shock collars to train and control dogs; consider the use of such devices to be cruel and unnecessary; understand that alternative positive training methods produce dogs which are trained more quickly and reliably with no potential for abuse or cruelty; recognise that because dogs are highly reactive to learning experiences and have a strong bond with humans that their natural instincts can be utilised to train them easily; and call upon the Government to introduce a complete ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars as part of the Animal Welfare Bill.

Now Defra needs to come under public pressure to ban the sale and use of remote control electric shock collars and anti-bark collars. The Kennel Club is extremely grateful to those readers, who have already taken the time to write to their MPs to deplore the use of the collars. This is especially important given that the issue of electric shock collars is likely to be voted on when the Bill returns to the Commons before the summer recess.

However Defra is receiving post from dog trainers who employ unnecessarily aversive training methods to address the effect and not the root cause of behavioural problems. Since they promote to Defra that training dogs through fear and pain works and does not harm the dogs, it is becoming increasingly important that Defra also receives correspondence directly from concerned members of the public.

Said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary: “Defra is under pressure from MPs to ban the sale and use of electric shock collars. Defra has also been presented with independent, conclusive and scientific research papers proving the long term negative effects that the use of these training devices have on dogs. Defra now needs to hear from the dog world about why it should impose a total ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars”.

Readers can write to Defra at: Animal Welfare Bill Team, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,1a Page Street, London, SW1P 4PQ

Since there is also likely to be a free vote on electric shock collars when it returns to the House of Commons, you should copy this letter to your MP and send it to the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA