England is considering a ban on the use of electric training collars just weeks after Scotland said that it would prohibit their use.

A consultation has been launched in to a possible ban on the sale and use of electric dog training collars in England.

This follows Scotland’s commitment to ban the use of the devices last month. Their use has been prohibited in Wales since 2010.

The Kennel Club pre-empted the official announcement earlier this month by revealing that it “understood that a ban on both the sale and use of shock collars is to be announced in the UK shortly” following a meeting of its representatives with environment secretary Michael Gove and Ross Thomson, Conservative MP for Aberdeen South.

“Cruel and unnecessary”

Mr Thomson is leading a campaign urging Westminster to implement a ban on the devices, which he describes as “cruel and unnecessary”.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “Electric shock collars are banned in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and Germany and in some territories of Australia, including New South Wales and Southern Australia, as well as Wales and soon Scotland. It really is time that England follows suit and we are delighted that at last, it is proposed that it does so.

“Given the current debate around animal sentience, now is the right time to recognise that dogs are sentient beings, with a capacity to feel physical and psychological distress.

“Devices that cause this, in the name of dog training, when so many positive training methods and devices are available are simply unnecessary. We applaud Defra as we understand that it is planning to ban shock collars after a consultation on the terms, and for taking such a strong stance on the importance of welfare in dog training.”

“Safe and effective”

BASC, the strongest voice opposed to a ban, maintains its position that banning electronic dog collars would be disproportionate and says that they can be a “safe and effective” tool for addressing serious behavioural problems in dogs.

Glynn Evans, its head of game and deer management, said: “A ban on the use of such training aids could remove the solution to remedying the behaviour of certain problem dogs.

“There is little scientific evidence relating to these aids being inherently harmful to the welfare of dogs, and no convincing evidence of long-term effects on welfare if collars are used in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.”

Interested organisations have until 27 April to offer their opinions on the proposed ban online.