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Group campaigns as proposed shock collar ban date passes
The group is urging Defra not to U-turn on its promise of a ban.
Defra had announced the ban would be in place from 1 February.

Veterinary and animal welfare organisations are calling on the government to commit to its ban on hand-held electronic shock collars, after the proposed date for the ban passed without action.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) previously announced that the collars would be prohibited for use on dogs and cats in England from 1 February.

However no time was allocated to debate the proposed ban, which the organisations say has led to no further progress. They are now urging Defra not to U-turn on its promise of a ban.

The group of organisations, which includes Dogs Trust and the British Veterinary Association, has been campaigning against the use of shock collars for many years. This led to 51,000 members of the public supporting the campaign by writing to their MPs.

They also reference two separate polls, independently commissioned by The Kennel Club and RSPCA, which revealed that nine in ten adults supported an urgent ban on the use of shock collars.

Electronic shock collars are currently legal for use on any animal, in any situation that the handset bearer requires it.

They are often used to train pets, punishing unwanted behaviours by administering an electric shock to the animal’s neck. This is intended to teach the animal to be fearful of receiving a shock, and therefore avoiding that behaviour.

It is also used as a precaution to prevent dogs from livestock worrying, which can be dangerous for both the pet and the livestock.

However Dogs Trust says that the use of electronic shock collars can cause dogs to become anxious about their surroundings, leading them to become aggressive or avoidant of other people or things in their environment when they receive the shock.

The charity also refers to data from five police forces, which suggest that most livestock worrying incidents occur from unaccompanied dogs. It says that a more effective method of preventing livestock worrying is keeping the dog on a lead.

Speaking on behalf the group of organisations, Paula Boyden, veterinary director of Dogs Trust, said: “We are collectively calling on Defra not to U-turn on its promise to ban the sale and use of electric shock collars and to find the time to bring this ban into effect. There is simply no place or need for these cruel devices in modern pet training.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “The UK is a world leader on animal welfare and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing our strong track record, including delivering the ban on hand-controlled electric shock collars.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

Click here for more...
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RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.