Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Electric shock collar ban in Wales announced

Two dogs meet in a park  (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)
Animal welfare groups want other countries to follow suit

The use of electric shock collars to train dogs or cats is to be banned in Wales, the assembly government announced.

The ban, which would be the first of its kind in the UK, is subject to the approval of assembly members.

The move has been supported by animal welfare groups, who said pain and fear were not humane training methods.

The RSPCA said it was a "great day for animal welfare in Wales" and the Kennel Club said it was a "huge milestone".

The collars are sometimes used to train dogs and cats by giving an electric shock when the animal is deemed to have behaved badly.

Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, said: "This has not been an easy subject to examine.

This is a great day for animal welfare in Wales
Claire Lawson, RSPCA

"There is genuinely a large degree of concern about how these devices are improperly used, in contrast to responses from people who have used them and found they have worked in stopping an animal from misbehaving.

"However, the Welsh Assembly Government takes animal welfare very seriously and I am confident that the approach I am announcing will go a long way to promote the welfare of dogs and cats in Wales."

Most responses to the consultations were said to support a ban on electronic training devices.

The RSPCA said it had campaigned on the issue for many years and advocated a range of training methods which did not cause suffering.

Years of campaigning

Claire Lawson, RSPCA public affairs manager for Wales, said: "This is a great day for animal welfare in Wales.

"Wales is now the first country in the UK to impose this ban and we hope that the others will take note and follow suit soon."

The Kennel Club said after almost 13 years of campaigning in the UK and four years in Wales, the decision was a "milestone".

Communications Director Caroline Kisko said: "Electric shock collars train dogs through pain and through fear - they are a cruel, outdated and unsuitable method of training dogs. "

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