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Government announces plan to ban shock collars
News of the consultation comes weeks after the Scottish Government announced a ban on electric training devices

Animal welfare organisations welcome the news

Electric shock collars used to train dogs and cats are set to be banned under new proposals announced by the government.

Announcing the proposals on Sunday (11 March), environment secretary Michael Gove said:
“Organisations and MPs have campaigned against the use of shock collars passionately and we are listening to their concerns. We are now proposing to ban the use of electric shock collars to improve the welfare of animals.”

He added that a consultation regarding the ban will start today (12 March) and run until 20 April.

News of the consultation comes just weeks after the Scottish Government announced their intention to ban electric training devices. Cabinet secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that the decision had been reached after carefully considering concerns raised by stakeholders and the public.

“Causing pain to dogs by inappropriate training methods is clearly completely unacceptable and I want there to be no doubt that painful or unpleasant training for dogs will not be tolerated,” she said.

The latest news has been welcomed by leading animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Battersea’s chief executive Claire Horton said:

“Battersea welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Environment Secretary’s consultation on banning electric shock collars. Battersea has long called for these cruel and unnecessary training devices to be prohibited, as it is never acceptable or necessary to apply electric shocks to an animal.
 
“We know that positive reinforcement techniques, such as reward-based training, are far more effective at changing a dog's behaviour without inflicting unnecessary pain. The use of electric shock collars is already banned in Wales and the Scottish Government also recently announced their intentions to ban their use. We would urge England to follow their example.”

The RSPCA has also made repeated attempts for electric shock collars to be banned. Responding, RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said:

“These cruel devices 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.”

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.