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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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.