Shock collars are painful and frightening, yet you may be surprised to learn that in Canada they are legal for use on our four-legged friends. The British Columbia based animal advocacy group banshockcollars.ca has organized a campaign and petition to encourage Canadians to speak out against the cruel and unnecessary practice of shocking sentient beings in our care. “Our mission is to ban outright the sale and use of shock collars on all animals” states the campaign’s website.
Many leading animal welfare experts, pet trainers, and humane societies oppose the use of shock collars for the fear and harm that they can induce in animals. Shock collars are scary - especially for the animals who have to wear them. “Using pain to train is simply animal abuse" states Gwendy Williams, who founded the Band Shock Collars movement over eight years ago with her partner Alfie.
When I was growing up our neighbour used a bark control shock collar on their miniature poodle when they would let it out into their backyard. We could always tell when the dog was wearing his collar because his barks would be cut short with yelps and cries of pain. This was incredibly disturbing to hear on the other side of the fence.
Shock collars are typically used for domestic dogs and cats in behaviour correction, pet containment systems like invisible fences, and for obedience training. They deliver electrical shocks of varying intensity and duration to the neck of an animal through a radio-controlled electronic device. According to the campaign’s website the threat of pain is just as capable of inducing stress, fear and emotional damage as the pain itself. For in-depth expert testimony and evidence on how damaging shock collars can be to the well-being of our pets check out the resources that have been published on banshockcollars.ca.
To learn about much kinder (and, more effective) approaches to training our pets other than using fear and pain check out the Ban Shock Collars website. There, you will also find a comprehensive list of humane training services with Canadian trainers who have committed to using respectful, bully-free methods of training.
make your voice heard
The people of Wales ran a successful lobby in 2010, resulting in nationwide legislation that banned the use of shock collars. Canadians can follow their lead by signing the petition urging our government to heed credible world renowned experts and scientific evidence that affirms that this practice is abusive and damaging to an animal's physical and emotional well-being.
In 2015, the Canadian Parliament modernized our democracy with the addition of e-petitions, which provide citizens the opportunity to draw attention to the issues they care about. The Ban Shock Collars petition is leading the way as Canada’s first legally recognized electronic petition (how cool is that!?). Concerned citizens can visit the Parliament’s new e-petitions portal to sign the petition calling on the government to ban shock collars nation-wide. With 30,000 E-Signatures by April 2, 2016 the animal advocacy group can lobby the House of Commons to ban the use of shock collars for training animals.
1. Sign the e-petition here.
2. Help spread the word:
Join the never “Been Shocked Trick Challenge” by recording your dog doing their best ‘shock free’ trick.
Post your video to Facebook or Instagram and ask 3 friends to complete the challenge in 48 hours. Tag it with #BanShockCollars.
Here's my video of Marley doing his “high-five” trick that I taught him using treats and positive reinforcement. Marley is a 1 year old Cocker Spaniel who was rescued though Just Paws Animal Rescue.
Never Been Shocked Trick Challenge - #BanShockCollars
Here my video of Marley doing his “high-five” trick that I taught him using treats and positive reinforcement. Marley is a 1 year old American Cocker Spaniel who was rescued though Just Paws Animal Rescue. #BanShockCollarsPosted by Love Wild Live Free on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Special thanks to Lucas Solowey, Spokesperson of BanShockCollars Campaign for for providing all of the information and images for this post. Don't forget to check out the BanShockCollars Campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on banshockcollars.ca.
Together we can advocate for animals who cannot speak for themselves.