In what appears to be an effort to follow in the footsteps of Australia and Wales, a petition was recently introduced to Canada’s parliament to consider enacting an e-collar ban in that country.

Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East, British Columbia, is supporting this ban shock collars petition and presenting it to parliament. While there is little doubt that this petition was conceived of with the best intentions, this type of legislation paves the way for the animal rights lobby to propose other, more aggressive limits on the ways in which we live, and work with dogs and other animals. “The problem with the animal rights criticism is they don’t know the first thing about what it takes to train an animal and what is humane or not humane,” explains Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the MFHA.

Indeed, it’s likely that most people who sign this petition will have no firsthand experience with e-collars. They are outraged at the barbaric concept of shocking dogs into submission, and the emotive stories of those who wish to paint a picture of e-collar users as abusive. Yes, this tool can be abused — just like many other well-accepted training devices such as choke collars, pinch collars, flat collars and even head collars. It is not the tool, but rather the individual using the tool that determines whether it will be used properly or effectively.

“While I’m sure some might not use or like the idea of e-collars, they are used extensively throughout the dog world,” adds Foster. “The collars used for field dogs and hounds have safeguards to assure an animal is not hurt, and most are equipped with warning buzzers that give the dog a chance to stop the bad behavior before receiving any type of stimulation.”

The bottom line is that if we want to maintain our freedom to have dogs, horses, and other animals as pets or working companions, we must be wary of such attempts to create laws based on how people feel rather than on what is truly in the best interest of the animals.

For those interested in consulting what the scientific community has to say on the subject, professional dog trainer Robin MacFarlane has gathered together an impressive collection of studies on her website: TheTruthAboutShockCollars.com.

Readers wishing to express opposition to this ban can contact Ms. Davies directly at:

Libby Davies, House of Commons,
Ottawa K1A 0A6Tel: (613) 992-6030
Fax: (613) 995-7412
Email: daviel@parl.gc.ca

2412 Main Street
Vancouver,V5T 3E2
Tel: (604) 775-5800
Fax: (604) 775-5811

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