New NParks guidelines will not impose restrictions on use of electric shock collars to train animals

2 weeks ago 51

SINGAPORE: New guidelines that will be released by the National Parks Board (NParks) will not impose any restrictions on the use of aversive animal training devices, including electric shock collars.

In a written parliamentary answer, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said on Wednesday (Apr 3) that the guidelines that NParks will be releasing are meant to highlight the risk of using such devices.

The guidelines will also recommend good training practices to be adopted by the community. 

He was responding to a question from Member of Parliament Louis Ng (PAP-Nee Soon) about whether a ban of remote electric shock collars is being considered in the guidelines.

"Following the release of the guidelines, NParks will continue to monitor the situation before deciding if further measures are needed," said Mr Lee on Wednesday.

"Notwithstanding this, NParks will continue to investigate and take enforcement action in cases where animal training devices cause unnecessary pain or suffering to animals, and to raise awareness on the least intrusive, minimally aversive approach to animal training."

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has called for a ban on the use of electric shock collars, saying that its use is banned or "significantly restricted" in several countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

This is not the first time the issue of electric shock collars for training animals has been raised in parliament.

Last month, Mr Ng asked for an update on a study it had conducted on the use of such collars for training animals.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How said in parliament on Mar 7 he had personally tested "a range of electric collars" on himself. 

"On a range of one to 10, in terms of spectrum, I probably got to about seven, and it (was) very painful – marks were shown on the skin.

"But it is not just the pain but also the shock of it because the animal or whoever is wearing the electrical collar won't know when the shock is applied," he said.

In 2022, the multi-stakeholder Rehoming and Adoption Workgroup (RAWG) - comprising NParks, animal welfare groups, vets and dog trainers - published guidelines to standardise practices in dog rehoming and adoption, as well as training and behaviour rehabilitation.

MND said in March that NParks further consulted other stakeholders in the animal community on the use of electric collars ...

Read Entire Article