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Shock collar ban delay: England, Scotland and NI lag far behind

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What do the following countries have in common: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain (in some regions), Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales? Answer: The banning or at least strict regulation of the use of the shock collars; a subject that 77% of Brits support, according to the Kennel Club. 

MPs and animal welfare campaigners are pressing the UK government to fulfil its pledge to outlaw electric shock collars for dogs in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as reported by the Daily Express. The legislation to ban shock collars was meant to come into effect yesterday (1/2/24), but it has stalled without Parliamentary debate.

Henry Smith, Crawley MP and Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation patron, emphasised to The Express, “It is time for the government to make good on their promise to ban the use and sale of electric shock collars, which simply serve as implements of cruelty.”

Mark Beazley, the Kennel Club’s Chief Executive, also expressed disappointment over the government’s inaction, stating, “This is yet another commitment to animal welfare that has fallen off the political agenda and, by not imposing this ban as promised, more dogs will sadly continue to suffer. We urge Defra to follow through with their promise to ban these abhorrent devices and to address this issue urgently.”

Defra responded, asserting the UK’s leadership in animal welfare and commitment to the ban on electric shock collars, “The UK is a world leader on animal welfare and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing our strong track record, including delivering the ban on hand-controlled electric shock collars.”

What is causing the wait? While it’s not fully clear, several usual reasons exist for the slow rollout of laws like this. Other pressing matters, like the recent XL Bully ban (as reported by GoFido), can push new laws further down the list of what gets attention. The need for thorough discussion and opposition from both political and industry groups complicate things. Additionally, figuring out how to enforce the ban and properly educating the public are big hurdles. However, it should be pointed out that Wales managed to pass the legislation to ban electric shock collars for dogs almost 14 years ago.

So who supports the use of and who sells shock collars? GoFido will find out and report back shortly. Stay tuned for updates.

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