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Dogs: Animal Welfare

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to ban the sale of electric shock training devices for dogs; and if he will make a statement. (162506)

There are no plans at present to ban the sale and use of ‘electric shock collars’.

DEFRA has recognised that further research into these types of collars is a priority and a study, based on observation of collars already in use, has been commissioned. This is due to be completed in 2010.

DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council, a key advisory body for government on companion animal welfare matters, to undertake an independent study of the available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids. This will help to inform policy development and complement the DEFRA-funded study.

All research into these areas commissioned by government will be put into the public domain after the study is complete.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 provides powers to prohibit or ban the use of any equipment in England and Wales in relation to animals. This can be done through secondary legislation, if considered necessary.

I also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1088W.