Electric Dog Collars Cause Jersey and Irish Uproar

Irish pet owners faced backlash last week after animal rights groups came out against electric dog collars. The groups claim that the collars, which shook dogs, can cause damage to the animal’s mental health and are cruel.

The ISPCA claims that the electric collars, which have already been banned in Wales and Scotland, cause distress and pain to the animal.

Campaigns warning dog owners against the use of the collars did little to stop sales from Western Pet Products. The company has sold more than 19,200 shock collars to pet owners in Ireland.

The collars use a radio signal that goes along a wire to create a boundary for the dog. The collar, unlike a martingale collar, is meant to allow the dog to stay contained in a yard or area while maintaining their freedom. The collars run on a 9-volt battery and are waterproof to protect from rain.

A beep is heard when the dog gets too close to the “fenced” area.

Dogs that go over the fenced in area are shocked. Rights groups claim that the dogs don’t understand why they’re being shocked and go into a state of distress as a result. Behavior and signs of anxiety are exhibited in many dogs after the collar shocks the animal.

Jersey Force Free Animal Professionals are also calling for a ban on electric collars. The group is asking the Environment Department to ban the collars. Scotland is about to outlaw the shock collars.

A member for the group claims that the only way to protect the animals is to outright ban the use of prong and electric shock collars. The prongs are placed on the dog’s neck and used as a form of punishment. Some models fence the dog in a confined area while others are controlled by remote or by tugging on the dog’s lead.

The group claims that there are dog trainers in Jersey that are using shock collars on their clients’ pets to train them.

Jersey Force Free Animal Professionals is trying to make pet owners aware that there are positive ways to train dogs that don’t involve punishment. The group even questions the Jersey Dog Training Welfare Code, which is being broken by the use of electric collars.

The Environment Minister Steve Luce stated that he would look into the collars two years ago, but nothing has been done to stop their use in Jersey. Public outcry at the time put pressure on Luce to look into the matter, and a petition with 2,000 signatures was also made. The group is calling for a ban on “electric fences,” too.

“It would be a great move for the general welfare of dogs and a real step forward,” claims Mrs. Barclay, an animal behaviorist for over ten years.

Mrs. Barclay also claims that there is no scientific proof that the collars are a long-term solution for animals. She claims that the collars leave the animals scared and very confused. The group is calling on the Environment Department to follow Wales and Scotland in a ban of electric shock collars.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.