Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Some shocking news from the National Assembly today

Here's the first of a couple of good news items from the Assembly today, courtesy of my colleague Gareth Jones AM, that are sure to be of interest to people locally.

Wales today is leading the way as the first nation in the UK to ban the use of electric shock collars for dogs and cats. The tough stance on these shocking devices taken by my friend and colleague, the Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones AM is very much to be welcomed and we can be very proud of this simple and efficient Welsh legislation. Despite strong opposition from manufacturers of these collars, the vast majority of responses to the three consultations carried out by the Welsh Government were in favour of the ban. In terms of their use as a training aid I know from my long experience in North Wales Police working alongside police handlers and their extraordinarily well-trained dogs that these shocking devices are just simply unnecessary. 


Over the last few years I’ve been very pleased to support the team from the Kennel Club and help promote their campaign to ban these electric shock devices in Wales. Inflicting pain and fear are neither humane nor effective methods by which to train any dog and that alone is a good enough reason to ban these devices but they have also the very clear potential for abuse and cruelty and that is not acceptable.

I have to confess that I was not brave enough to be shocked myself – some AMs were and I applaud their bravery – however for personal health reasons I chose not to - a weak excuse I know but therein lies another lesson. I had the choice not to be shocked – the poor animals who receive this shocking treatment don’t have that luxury – they have no choice in the matter.

All dogs can and should be trained by praise and encouragement just as those most highly-trained dogs already are by the police, military and all those organisations that have been training assistance and rescue dogs for decades. Dogs can be trained to the highest standards without any cause to use such shocking devices.

It’s not often that we get the opportunity to introduce Wales-only legislation in the Senedd – finding Welsh solutions to Welsh problems - so I am absolutely delighted that today my colleague Elin Jones has acted to outlaw this shocking practice and that the National Assembly has enacted this pioneering legislation in the UK.

Gareth Jones AM

The National Assembly for Wales unanimously approved the Welsh Government motion to introduce this Wales-only legislation at 18:47 this evening.

Regulations including penalties and enforcement to be found here:


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