Calling All Canadians: Sign The Petition To Ban Electric Shock Collars

When I first learned that a group in Canada had started a petition to have our new government ban the use and sale of shock collars, I have to admit to being curious as to what exactly is a “shock” collar.  Obviously it is intended to zap our little guys into submission whenever we decide that brute force is preferable to kinder, gentler, rewards-based training. And like most of us, I’ve seen those Funniest Home Videos and YouTube submissions that show intoxicated 20-somethings writhing in pain after trying the collar on for size and then of course, barking to activate. So it’s a serious piece of equipment that can cause major pain and has a questionable rationale.

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In checking out a few websites I was intrigued (actually disturbed) by some of the comments made by pet parents. “It is sad to see when they get ‘zapped’, heartbreaking in fact, but they sure learn fast…”

“… if you go out for the day and have a barker in the house, don’t use it. … I have seen it zap the dog when the dog did a ‘reverse-sneeze’. If something happened with your dog while you were out which made the collar believe the dog was barking, I’d hate to think of your poor dog sitting there all alone getting zapped all day while you’re not there.” No kidding! Another… “I totally regret trying this! He barked a few times (meaning the level of shock went up a few levels) and afterwards he hid in a corner and was shaking. He was afraid of everyone in the room and kept his tail between his legs. I tried taking him outside to play but he hid under a tree and ignored all his toys! I couldn’t even get him to come back in the house; he just sat at the door, shaking.”

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Holy cow, I had read enough! I now understand what drove Gwendy Williams and her partner to found this movement over eight years ago and why this week they introduced an on-line petition on Parliament’s new e-petitions portal. Her campaign entitled banshockcollars.ca is asking Canadian animal lovers to sign the petition that demands the collars be banned. “Using pain to train is simply animal abuse” says Williams and her goal is to see a total ban on the sale and use of shock collars on any animal.

My modest research aside, many leading animal welfare experts, pet trainers, and humane societies oppose shock collars for the fear and harm that they can induce in animals. The evidence of how damaging shock collars can be to the well-being of our pets and expert testimony can be found on banshockcollars.ca.

Williams is taking advantage of a brand new process by which Canadians can submit official petitions to the government online – a decision that was unanimously adopted by Parliament following a motion from MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South) to modernize our democracy with e-petitions. Kennedy has proudly sponsored Williams’s petition which is the first submission via this new process. Also lending their names to her cause is 2015 World Figure Skating Champion Meagan Duhamel and Dr. David Suzuki who are calling on fellow Canadians to support the shock collar ban. They are encouraging the public to get involved to help reach the 100,000 signature goal within the 120 day period. Visit official government petition for more information, or go right to the official government petition and sign now.


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