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Sunderland MP back call to ban shock collars

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, attended a drop in event at the House of Commons last week to pledge her support to help ban the use and sale of electronic shock collars.

On Tuesday (20th February), Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity launched its #ShockinglyLegal campaign to help urge the Government to ban the sale of electronic shock collars.

A recent poll revealed around a third (31%) of the public wrongly believe shock collars are already illegal, yet despite public opinion, buying and using one of these painful devices to correct a dog’s behaviour, is shockingly still lawful in England.

84% of people know that shock collars cause a dog pain, but the sad reality is that they are still readily available to buy at the click of a button.

The torturous devices can send between 100 to 6000 Volts to a dog’s neck, and have the capacity to continuously shock a dog for up to 11 terrifying seconds at a time.

Research shows that physical effects can include yelping, squealing, crouching, and physiological signs of distress in direct response to an electric shock. It’s not just shock collars – spray and sonic collars are also widely for sale.

Whilst the use of electronic shock collars is banned in Wales, and Scotland has also made moves towards prohibiting the use of these cruel devices, England is dragging its heels.

Only Westminster has the power to ban the sale of electronic shock collars so Dogs Trust is urging members of the public to tweet their MP using the hashtag #ShockinglyLegal to help bring this important issue to light.

Sharon Hodgson MP for Washington and Sunderland West said:

“I’m delighted to pledge my support to Dogs Trust in calling for a ban on the use and sale of electronic shock collars. These aversive training methods are outdated and cruel, and there is no need for them to be used when there are so many positive training methods available. This is a hugely important issue for dog welfare and I hope my support will help make a difference.”

Rachel Casey Director of Canine Behaviour and Research at Dogs Trust explains:

“We are appalled that it is still legal to buy and use electronic shock collars in England - 83% of dog owners polled said they wouldn’t use them so why on earth are they legal? It is both unnecessary and cruel to resort to the use of these collars on dogs. This type of device is not only painful for a dog, it can have a serious negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. A dog can’t understand when or why it’s being shocked and this can cause it immense distress, with many dogs exhibiting signs of anxiety and worsened behaviour as a result.”

“Positive based methods, such as using rewards like food, are the most effective and kindest way to train your dog, so there is absolutely no need for owners to even consider the use of these devices. We urge everyone who loves dogs to consider the impact that using these kinds of devices can have on our four-legged friends, and join with us in asking your MP for an immediate ban on their sale and their use.”