Dogs: Electronic Training Aids

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th May 2022.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of a ban on electronic training collars on the number of dog attacks each year on (a) deer and (b) birds.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has considered evidence from Defra-funded research, the results of a public consultation, and information from other relevant sources to inform its policy on the use of electric shock collars for the control of dogs.

The proposed ban on the use of electric shock collars was developed after considering a broad range of factors, including the effects of such a ban. When considered alongside the academic research, the public consultation responses, and direct engagement with the sector, the Government concluded that electric shock collars present a risk to the welfare of dogs and cats and that their use should not be permitted.

Defra’s statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Natural England’s refreshed version of the Countryside Code apply to handling dogs in the vicinity of livestock and outline the actions that can be taken by dog owners to reduce the occurrence of attacks or chasing.

The livestock worrying measures in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which is currently before Parliament, introduce further protections including in relation to enclosed deer and enclosed birds, including poultry and game birds.

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