Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Vote on pet shock collars ban in Wales


Dog trainer Charles Wall is for the collars, the Kennel Club's Sian Edwards is against

A ban on the use of electric shock collars to train dogs or cats in Wales is to be voted on by politicians.

The ban, announced by the assembly government last month but requiring the approval of assembly members, would be the first of its kind in the UK.

Animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and the Kennel Club support the move.

The Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association said it feared a ban could lead to an influx of unmanageable pets into dog shelters.

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

'Huge milestone'

If approved, the ban would come into force as soon as Wednesday.

The RSPCA said it believed there was no place for shock collars in modern animal training and recommended the use of reward-based methods instead.

The Kennel Club said the ban would be a "huge milestone for dog welfare".

Its members are staging a display outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay before the vote to "further prove the fact that dogs can be successfully trained without the need for electric shock training devices and aversive training techniques".

But manufacturers said the devices helped to successfully train dogs not to chase livestock, or attack other pets or people.

Duncan McNair, of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association, said: "It's a bad idea because more dogs will die, more dogs will have to be re-homed and more owners will have to be distressed at having to give up their pets."

He said there were around 500,000 of the collars in the UK and said, at a rough estimate, there were around 20,000 in Wales.

"I wouldn't dream of suggesting that people disobey the law, everybody will be making their own decision about what they do, but what I do think is that if a large number of people who use them stop using them, there will be an influx of dogs into dog shelters."

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has said the majority of respondents, during a consultation, were in favour of a ban.

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