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Pet shops back calls to follow England and ban shock collars

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PET SHOPS and dog trainers have supported calls to ban shock collars for dogs, which are set to be banned in England.

Aston, who belongs to Chris McClean, owner of the Venture Garage pet shop, with some of the noisy collars it sells. It does not keep or sell electric shock collars. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 20911896)

The controversial training devices emit an electrical charge into the dog’s neck intended to curb unruly behaviour. They are sold for upwards of £100 online.

An amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 was proposed by the UK government on Sunday which would make the sale of the devices illegal.

Bans on the use of the collars are already in place in Scotland and Wales.

Creature Comforts pet shop is one of several businesses opposed to the use and sale of the collars.

‘It’s been six years since I opened the shop and I’ve always said it is the one thing I won’t sell,’ said owner Michelle Botes.

‘I bought one when I was much younger and I actually tried it on myself, around my neck, which was very painful. It went in the bin after that,’ she said.

Venture Garage pet shop owner Chris McClean said he felt there was no call for the shock collars.

‘We do sell ones that make a noise, but not the shock collars. I don’t think there’s a call for them, we’ve not had anybody asking for them and there are definitely better alternatives,’ he said.

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Paul Hewitt, owner of Best Friends pet care service, is another adverse to the use of shock collars.

‘I don’t agree with them, applying an electric shock is no way to train a dog. Each dog is different – some react to training with food, some with toys – but you don’t punish a dog for their behaviour in this way,’ he said.

States vet David Chamberlain said last month that he would not advocate any calls for a ban.

While not being aware of the collars being sold locally, he said that in his opinion they could play a ‘useful role in certain circumstances where fencing is impractical, impossible or prevented by planning laws’.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said although it was a relatively obscure piece of legislation, it would be likely for the States to take guidance from the UK in banning the devices.

‘From a personal perspective I think it’s a good move, the collars were open to abuse and I’m pleased they’ve been banned,’ he said. ‘I’d need to take advice from the law officers and the Home Department, generally we do follow the UK.’

Alex Warlow

By Alex Warlow
News reporter

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