Ive had an interesting phone call today, which has really made stop and think, which doesnt do me any good, because it makes my brain hurt!
I have read and heard about electric shock collars for training dogs, which have now been banned in England and Wales. What I wasnt aware of until said phonecall, was the use of containment fencing and electronic collars, whilst banned under the same legislation in Wales, is not in England.
Now my basic understanding of this sytem is:
A ‘radio’ wire is buried a few centimetres below ground, around the perimeter of the area you do not wish your pet to pass beyond. A ‘pickup’ is then attached to your pets collar, and when it gets within a set distance, a series of beeps is emitted, if it strays too near, a ‘correction’ as one companies site describes it is felt. Apperantly this is similar to that felt from the static shock you can recieve from a car door or lift button. Several companies state Vet approved or Pet Safe on their sites.
One vet who uses this sysem, according to the Daily Mail, Is at a senior level in the Dogs Trust. Theya long with the RSPCA, were I think involved in consulatation prior to the blanket ban been put in force in Wales.(Daily Mail Vet article) It would appear the dogs dont require a shock, but the cats do.
One site goes so far as to offer humane training on installation, and states in most cases the dogs become adjusted to the beeps within a week.
The facebook pageSave Our Welsh Pets are trying to raise awareness of this problem, and have organised an online petition http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-our-welsh-cats-dogs-from-death-on-the-roads.html. The introduction of which in relation to the number of votes cast makes interesting reading. The facebook page has comments, as you can imagine, from both side of the arena. Including those stating it is laziness on the part of the owners in not training their dogs. Im of the opinion that even the best behaved and trained dogs can have an of day, and have an unexpected dart off, or slip a lead and dash across a road. ( I unfortunately witnessed this from the kerb on a dark winters night having been thrown off my motorcycle by just such a dog)
The main difference specified in this petition is the use of the word electronic as opposed to electric. Electric shocks to back up regular training, I dont like. Beeps as they approach a perimeter, Ok I could live with that. A static charge to save their life..thats where it gets harder.
Dont get me wrong, I dont think these should be used in every garden, but I can see the argument in rural locations where it is impractical to fence around every boundary. My neighbours are great, they have dogs and we walk them together. Our land is seperated from theirs by an agricutural bank, which is subject to condtions as to what can be done with it. We have a fence, all the way round, which is buried slightly into the ground. When we first moved in our neighbours had livestock, and I would have hated for my dogs to get through. On a couple of occasions, my dogs have found a weak spot and taken themselves for a walk, luckily they go straight to my neighbours back door, and by my hurdling the wall I can get hold of them.
I havent considered one of these fences, but I do like my dogs to be able to run free around the garden as much as they like, as I know several of my customers do.
I would be interested to see some comments on this one…and if this type of containment fencing has been banned, how come they didnt do it with cattle fences.?