URGENT: MP Letter to British Veterinary Association - Final Push 

MP letter to BVA – Final Push

By Jamie Penrith on August 11, 2023
Dear ARDO supporter! Can I begin by saying a MASSIVE personal ‘Thank you” for your tireless commitment and dedication to battling this push by The Kennel Club and their ‘friends’ to create an animal welfare issue where one doesn’t exist. That’s why they don’t have a single prosecution for e-collar abuse or misuse in over […]

Dear ARDO supporter!

Can I begin by saying a MASSIVE personal ‘Thank you” for your tireless commitment and dedication to battling this push by The Kennel Club and their ‘friends’ to create an animal welfare issue where one doesn’t exist. That’s why they don’t have a single prosecution for e-collar abuse or misuse in over 20 years.

As a direct result of YOU and people like you, we are doing incredibly well with our campaign to stop the proposed ban on e-collars. The Government was so impressed with all the letters from us, that they cancelled a meeting in the Commons to pass the law.

Let me tell you that this is no small achievement!! In fact, it hardly ever happens. The reason it HAS happened is because we are telling the TRUTH, and the Truth spoils the story that e-collar use equals abuse and can only ever harm dogs. Our Truth is based on solid scientific evidence AND thousands of first-hand experiences.

Late in the day, the Kennel Club and their friends have realised this and are now desperately trying to persuade the Government to go ahead with the ban. You will have seen even more exaggerated claims of ‘harm’ and ‘suffering’ being posted by them online recently.  We can absolutely prove that we are telling the truth by making sure that the government knows that the science is on our side: it shows repeatedly that e-collar training is highly effective at making dogs wary of chasing and attacking other animals.

Our opportunity to demonstrate this has been provided by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). The BVA has made a huge mistake in claiming that “positive training methods” are “the most effective” training. As responsible dog owners we all know that context is massively important. Training a dog to give paw for a hot dog in a hall is one thing, training them not to suddenly take off after sheep, deer, squirrels, birds or countless other animals is something completely different. Recently, a top Sunday Times journalist has challenged the BVA to show evidence for this claim. The BVA’s eventual response is embarrassing for its evasiveness. Why would vets support banning something that is scientifically proven to prevent harm and protect animals when they have no evidence that the alternative even works? This is even more worrying when vets admitted that out of all the healthy dogs under three years old they are required to destroy, 1/3 are destroyed for ‘undesirable behaviour’.

Their mistake creates a great opportunity to demonstrate to Parliament that we are telling the truth and that we own the scientific ‘high ground’. If you want to help us see this ridiculous blanket ban replaced with a better alternative, like simple regulation where all animals win,  PLEASE send the email below to your MP.

You can find your MPs email here: https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons

  • Do include your postal address so that your MP knows that you live in their constituency
  • Do send us your MPs reply

You can also copy and paste the email from this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xV7gKPcelzIiD4MMzPWCJt8iPTf1J5k55tZ3CJAFyTg/edit?usp=sharing 


Thank you,

Jamie Penrith





Please would you write to the BVA? 


Dear [Your MP’s Name] 

As one of your constituents, I recognise how difficult it is for MPs to know whom to trust given the complex issues you face. On animal welfare, I expect you believe the British Veterinary Association bases its policies on scientific evidence.

However, on an important issue for me the BVA is making a key policy claim without any evidence. This concerns the training of dogs with e-collars to ensure they do not attack other animals. The BVA claims that “the most effective” way to train a dog is to instead rely entirely on what it calls “positive” training.

This means just giving rewards like biscuits. Training a dog to give its paw for a hot dog is one thing. However, training it not to suddenly take off after sheep, deer or birds is completely different.

Yet when the Sunday Times asked the BVA for scientific evidence to support its claim that its “positive only” training stops dogs from attacking other animals they failed to provide any evidence. 

So please would you write to the BVA to ask it to quote any scientific research which says that their “positive” training is effective at stopping dogs attacking other animals. 

Their emails are: malcolmm@bva.co.ukpolicy@bva.co.ukmedia@bva.co.uk

I expect their boss Malcolm Morley will try an evasive answer with you too. If so, would it be alright for dog owners to come along to Parliament to point this out the next time the BVA speaks to MPs?

There is lots of science showing that short sessions of e-collar training make dogs wary of approaching vulnerable animals (see evidence below). This response lasts for years. Compare that with Wales, where e-collars are banned. The Telegraph reported that Wales suffers from four times more dog attacks. 

One final thought. I would like to say how grateful I am to all the MPs who have urged Defra not to go ahead with banning e-collars. To do so next February – at the start of the lambing season – would be a catastrophe.

[Your Name]



[1] “All 1,156 dogs displayed avoidance… after the first training session”: Dale 2017 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159117300746

[2] “The collar averted all 13 attempted attacks on lambs” Andelt:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258098937_Coyote_predation_on_domestic_sheep_deterred_with_electronic_dog-training_collar

[3] e-collars “resulted in complete and permanent elimination of aggression in all of the 36 dogs tested” Tortora: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/about.illinoisstate.edu/dist/6/45/files/2019/10/tortora-1983-safety-signal-training-elimination-of-avoidance-motivated-aggression-in-dogs.pdf

[4] “no dogs showed interest in… sheep in the path test” Christiansen: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11278032

[5] the aversion response “lasts at least 1 year after training” Dale and Statham:  https://www.researchbank.ac.nz/handle/10652/2630

[6] e-collar training  “shows stronger ‘learning effect’” than other training methods, Salgirli 2008:  https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Comparison-of-learning-effects-and-stress-between-3-Salgirli-Schalke/6e2a2acbad0a3a9d1a630fa804c0e54536f17251

[7] “the most effective” training, Howell and Bennett: see page 6: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016815912030071X

[8] four times more dog attacks and three times more dogs being shot in Wales than in other parts of the UK where e-collars are permitted: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/11/gareth-wyn-jones-joins-farmers-calls-reversal-electric-dog-collar/

[9] BVA and BSAVA support and recommend “positive training methods” as the most effective: https://www.bva.co.uk/media/1156/full-bva-policy-position-on-the-use-of-aversive-training-devices-in-dogs-and-cats.pdf

Article written by Jamie Penrith

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