The UK takes another great step for animal welfare by banning cruel and unnecessary training devices for dogs and cats.
As the government decides to ban the use of cruel shock collars, an important step for animal welfare in our country, we look at why this ban is important and what it means for cats and dogs. Even though the collars are mostly used for training dogs, some are also used for training or punishing cats. In this blog, we take a look at the significance of the ban for companion animals across the country
1. It means an end to cruel and painful punishments
According to the Dogs trust, remotely controlled training devices can trigger an electronic pulse of up to 6,000 volts to a dog’s neck, and can shock the animal for up to 11 seconds at a time. And as if this weren’t enough, some shock collars emit a loud noise, harming the animal’s hearing, whereas some others discharge a toxic smell, harming the dog’s acute sense of smell. None of these punitive measures sound very animal friendly, and it’s therefore needless to say that these devices are only resulting into pain and distress for the animal.
2. It paves the way for better training methods
For instance, RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr. Samantha Gaines explained how “shock collars are used to train and control cats and dogs using pain and fear.” Not only is this unacceptable but they are also unnecessary to achieve long-term behavioural change.” Using these devices can actually worsen underlying behavioural and health problems. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there is a chance that dogs may begin to associate being shocked with certain experiences or people rather than their own actions, potentially resulting in aggressive or fearful behaviour. Moving away from these quick fix punitive methods will pave the way for positive-reward methods, often using little healthy snacks or foods.
The UK has seen some amazing news regarding companion animals in recent weeks but more needs to be done. The ban on shock collars doesn’t include outlawing “invisible fencing” systems designed to keep pets, particularly cats, away from roads. Perhaps just as cruel as a collar, the animal is given a static pulse when it breaches the boundary of a property, so that it learns to stay away. Surprisingly these have not been outlawed, even though they sound incredibly cruel too. So even though progress is being made, there is still a lot that needs to be improved when it comes to looking after companion animals in a compassionate way.
Would you like to know what the Almo Nature/ Capellino Foundation are doing for companion animals? Keep on reading here.