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Animal Welfare: Electric Shock Collars

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the quality of the study on electric shock collars by Matthijs B H Schilder and Joanne A M van der Borg; if so, what is that assessment; and whether further research on electric shock collars is necessary.[HL8027]

I understand that the study to which the noble Baroness refers is entitled Training dogs with the help of the shock collar: short and long term behavioural effects. Defra has considered the results of this study but found thatthey do not provide a sufficient basis to underpin government policy.

We consider that further research in this area is necessary as a matter of priority to enable a decision to be made on whether there is a need for regulation.

I also refer the noble Baroness to the Answer given in the other place on 25 July 2006 (Official Reportcol. 1482W).

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the number of studies that have already been undertaken, they have made an assessment of the extent to which the further testing of electric shock collars on dogs is ethical.[HL8061]

I refer the noble Baroness to the response I gave during the debate on the Animal Welfare Bill on 23 May 2006, Official Report col. GC189. In it, I explained that my department was considering advertising a revised call for research in the light of concerns raised about the unsuccessful open competition in 2005.

We subsequently circulated a limited tender callin July, which encouraged proposals for an epidemiological study to assess the effect of specific electronic pet training collars on the welfare of dogs; in other words, a study based on observation of collars already in use. We will take account of ethical considerations when assessing the proposals we have received in response.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the relevance of the effects of electric shock stimulion mice and rats to determining the welfare implications for electric shock collars worn around the neck of a dog.[HL8062]