Advances And Setbacks In The Fight Against The Use Of Punishment Collars For Dogs

Dog punishment collars are still sold as canine training accessories, however, animal advocates maintain a constant fight against the use of what they consider a method of torture for pets, due to the physical and psychological damage they can cause certain collars in dogs. This is why we have compiled some cases where animalists have made great efforts against animal abuse.

Such is the case of the region of A Coruña, where the animalists of Libera and the Franz Weber Foundation have filed complaints about alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Law. In this case, these are the dogs that are used in hunting beats in this region of the country, since according to experts in the field, their masters become abusers by keeping the animals chained, which implies a serious violation involving a fine of 5,000 euros. 

The animalistic association Libera is a non-governmental organization created in 2004 in Barcelona, ​​with the objective of carrying out campaigns to raise awareness about animal exploitation in some countries. On several occasions, this NGO has been one of the allies of the Franz Weber Foundation, which has been present in Latin America since 2010, because it has a headquarters in the same Spanish city. Currently, this institution has a presence in Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela, but also in France, Portugal, and Spain.

Galician regulations explicitly condemn the use of electric collars to discharge dogs and try to change their behavior with the application of this type of torture. However, complaints continue in this regard, because the use of these devices is prohibited, but not their commercialization. However, more and more citizens are informed of the danger that these collars represent animals and are willing to denounce those offenders who find it easier to train their dogs for hunting by electrocutions.

The proposal of the animalist groups is that Xunta itself conduct a thorough inspection of the stores that sell this type of torture apparatus, to determine what type of users acquire them despite being explicitly prohibited.

Achievements against punishment collars around the world

Although at first glance it seems enough to think that if punishment collars are prohibited in humans, it is also inappropriate to use them in our pets, the reality is that some people insist on defending their use with a thousand and one excuses.

It has been several decades since an important independent body such as the Farm Animal Welfare Committee of Great Britain condemned the treatment of animals where there is pain and discomfort while recommending to facilitate natural behavior, as well as the absence of fear and stress. As we can see, any of these principles are threatened every day by users of punishment collars. 

But in the same country, the British Department of Food and Rural Affairs invested thousands of euros in studies between 2007 and 2011, to demonstrate the supposed well-being of dogs that have been trained with electric collars. Meanwhile, researchers from some universities such as Bristol, Lincoln College, and the Central Science Laboratory, were able to verify that it is possible to obtain changes in the behavior of dogs, by using rewards as a positive training technique, without creating Physical and psychological sequels to the pet. 

Currently, in Wales, the fine for using the electric collar for dogs is around 3,000 euros. On the other hand, in Italy, the penal code prohibits the use of these necklaces because they are incompatible with the canine nature. The same is true in the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Austria, and Switzerland, where they are prohibited, while in Australia their sale and use in half the country are illegal. In North America, serious efforts have been made to ban its use in both the United States and Canada, but there has been a strong blockade by companies that profit from the production and sale of these accessories. Even so, animalists continue bravely denouncing the abuse of pets in those countries.

A controversial case of animal abuse in Madrid

In 2015, neighbors from the Pinto community in Madrid called the police because they heard a little dog scream. When the troops came to the place they found the animal called Piedra, who was chained and with a punishment necklace, at a precise distance so that he could not access food and water. According to witnesses, the dog had wounds all over his body, because his owner also hit him with an iron rod, in an alleged attempt to correct his behavior. 

At first, the aggressor had been sentenced by the 5th Criminal Court of Getafe to 8 months imprisonment, being also two years disabled to have a dog, as well as canceling a debt of more than 1,000 euros that were used to cure the animal. However, sometime later, the seventh section of the Provincial Court of Madrid acquitted the defendant, claiming that the injuries were not so serious and that the people who evaluated Piedra when he was found injured had no university degree, so they dismissed his experience in the veterinary area.

As we have observed, it is a story of advances and setbacks from the legal point of view, both in Spain and in other parts of the world, however, the visibility of the problem has allowed us to know today that the best dog collars of 2020 are the that cause less damage to the animal. This also makes the general public disapprove of the use of harmful training methods, so fewer and fewer users are willing to go outside using one of these devices, as they cause outrage and discomfort in citizens.

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