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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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Charity reveals it treated thousands of pets with dental issues last year

News Story 1
 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has revealed that its veterinary team performs dental procedures on more than 170 animals every month. Last year the charity says it extracted hundreds of teeth from more than 800 animals and carried out thousands of routine scales and polishes.

To combat the problem, Battersea is urging pet owners to get regular dental checks at their vets, implement a daily oral care routine, feed a good dental chew and only give toys that are designed for dogs, including gentle rubber toys that are less wearing on the teeth. 

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Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: