25 May 2016
The use of electric shock collars on dogs is to be outlawed if the States agree with recommendations proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce.
Deputy Luce has signed a ministerial decision agreeing proposed changes to Jersey’s 2004 animal welfare law.
Many Island residents called for electric collars to be outlawed in Jersey last year, and the Minister agreed to consider their views.
Pinch or prong collars
Other proposed changes to the law include outlawing the docking of dogs’ tails, except when it is for medical treatment or a working dog and certified by a veterinary surgeon, and making it illegal to use pinch or prong collars except if recommended by a vet and licensed by the Department of the Environment.
Deputy Luce said the draft changes were based on research and best practice. “Current evidence suggests that dog training which involves punishment, also known as aversive training, doesn’t work well and can end up doing long term harm to the animal. You get much better results using reward-based training which doesn’t affect the welfare of the animal.”
No animals as prizes
The new law, if agreed, would also make it illegal to offer or give animals as prizes to anyone, except in a family context, and the sale of animals to children under 16 years of age. Selling includes transfer of ownership.
The changes to the law would also bring in a minimum age of 16 years for ‘responsibility’ of animals.
A number of changes are also designed to tighten up the regulations around the care and welfare of animals both at home and in boarding kennels and to introduce regulations around the filming of fights involving animals.