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CAWC report on shock collars

(9 Posts)
RedwingWinter Sat 20-Oct-12 16:50:55

I notice that CAWC has produced a report for MPs on shock collars, or 'electronic pulse training aids' as they prefer to call them. Does anyone know how this report fits into the parliamentary process, i.e. when will MPs be discussing it? I am wondering when we should be writing to our MPs asking for them to be banned?

RedwingWinter Sun 21-Oct-12 19:49:32

No one knows? I guess I can ask the CAWC.

If anyone's interested, you can read their report on the use of shock collars on dogs here. The Kennel Club's response is here.

I think it's great that shock collars are banned in Wales and really hope the rest of the UK will follow suit.

Scuttlebutter Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:52

Hi Redwing, I didn't get the impression from reading the report that it was specifically targeted at MPs, or that MPs are due to discuss/change law on this issue any time soon. Possible changes in Scotland?

Unfortunately, I think the CAWC is in the "useful idiot" category - they produce beautiful reports from time to time (usually, like this one saying more research is needed) which then gather dust in a committee room somewhere.

I know I go on about this, but it is also worth pointing out yet again that animal welfare is a devolved responsibility so changes in England will not necessarily affect those of us in Wales, Scotland or N Ireland. Am pleased smile that Wales has already banned them and there has been at least one prosecution.

RedwingWinter Sun 21-Oct-12 22:06:47

Thanks Scuttle. No wonder I wasn't sure what was going to happen with it next! To be honest, I don't find it a beautiful report - I have some reservations about what they did and didn't include. Having said that, they are sensibly critical of the studies they did consider.

I did recognize that Wales has done its own thing smile I just wish that other parts of the UK would do the same. Wales has got it right smile on that at least.

poachedeggs Sun 21-Oct-12 22:19:22

I think it was a good report but am unsure how much weight it will carry tbh.

As someone who works with animals on a daily basis I see an awful lot of ingorance and the idea that any fool can slap an electric collar on their dog strikes fear into my heart.

I also know a number of dogs who have shown behaviours which endangered them and which were completely resolved with the judicious use of a shock collar, by an experienced handler. The dogs no longer need the collars and are still alive, well and working as a result of the collars being used, in a situation where no other method would have allowed the dog to be trained not to express that behaviour.

It's a very complex issue in which there are definitely, IMO, some cases in which their use can be justified but unfortunately the people making these decisions are not in a position to acknowledge this complexity.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sun 21-Oct-12 23:00:05

Are we talking the collars that are used to discipline a dog or the ones used with invisible fences, as is completely normal practice here? Or is there no difference?

RedwingWinter Sun 21-Oct-12 23:08:22

The report is about both types of collars - both those used for punishment and those used with invisible fences - and makes recommendations about both.

I think the report does do a good job of considering the complexity of the issue, and it considers the views of those who wrote in either in favour or against in a very even-handed manner. It's very thorough in that respect.

Scuttlebutter Mon 22-Oct-12 16:12:40

Redwing, my description should perhaps have been "beautifully written" rather than a reflection of the contents. Like you I do not agree with some of their premises.

But I'm really not convinced at all that they actually do any thing. Think they simply allow DEFRA to say that they have got something in place. Certainly, looking at our experience in Wales, I wouldn't say they've been any help in changing legislation on say dog breeding, and of course Wales moved to act on shock collars long before they considered it.

I love reading academic papers and research on dog welfare issues (there's some excellent work being done at the moment) but the Council doesn't seem to be either a purely academic/veterinary body or one that campaigns/acts - it therefore sits rather uneasily in an isolated and dusty cupboard.

RedwingWinter Mon 22-Oct-12 20:25:04

I think you are probably right, unfortunately. I think such an organization has the potential to do a lot, if they want to, so it's a shame if they don't. I never really paid much attention to them before. I suppose since their conclusions include 'wait and see what Defra is about to find out' they aren't in a strong lobbying position anyway.

But on a happier note you are also right that there is some excellent research being done on dog welfare at the moment.

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