30 Aug 2018 FACE urges DEFRA to reconsider its position on electronic training collars for working dogs in England
PRESS RELEASE. Brussels, 30 August 2018. FACE – the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation – is extremely disappointed with the decision of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to ban the use of electronic training collars for dogs in England. While 64% of the 7,300 respondents are against a ban, it is regrettable that DEFRA still decided to support a ban on hand held remote-controlled devices.
According to FACE Secretary General, Ludwig Willnegger: “FACE regrets this critical decision, which is based on pressure coming from powerful animal welfare organisations who prefer to focus on public opinion instead of evidence and facts. FACE urges DEFRA to reconsider its position based on the existing science and the responses to the public consultation”.
Electronic training collars allow trainers to deal with certain bad habits in open settings, before they escalate into more serious problems that could be that much harder to correct later on. The collars produce mild static stimulation to dogs, which are designed to be undesirable, yet totally harmless and humane.
The UK recognised the unique position of working dogs which were exempted from the obligation to wear a collar when they are working. Now, they will condemn some working dogs from doing their job effectively, which may be more dangerous to the public and environment. This is supported by evidence which shows that shock collars can be beneficial for working dogs’ long-term welfare.
FACE recognises that electric collars can be abused by some. This is why FACE works with the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA) whose members’ products meet the latest Technical Requirements, which enable training while protecting animal welfare. FACE subscribes the ECMA collar code practice.