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Stop cruel use of shock collars on our pets

I would like to draw your readers' attention to an ongoing campaign promoting the use of electronic shock collars, used with containment fencing as a means of preventing pets from straying.

Containment fencing works by laying signal emitting cable underground, to surround a predetermined area, such as your garden. Your cat or dog wears a receiver collar, and if they approach the wire, they receive a shock as punishment.

The theory is your cat or dog will learn that, if they approach the barrier, they will be shocked. Approaching the barrier should therefore decrease, as your pet will want to avoid the shock.

Many animal welfare organisations, including the APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors), of which I am a Provisional Member, are very concerned about the use of electric shocks to modify pet behaviour.

Shock collars most likely cause pain and fear when used on pets, and this has been supported by research.

It is unethical to use pain and fear to train our pets. We have a moral responsibility as pet owners to ensure the welfare of our pets. As other options are available, eg reward-based obedience training for pets (cats can be trained too!), combined with adequate fencing, there is no excuse to punish our pets in this way. For more information, see www.apbc.org.uk.



Dr SARAH MILLSOPP

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