In the News

March 13, 2019: Shock-Free Coalition Launches Survey on Use of Shock Collars in Dog Training

The study will help the researchers understand various aspects of the use of electronic collars on canines and is being conducted primarily by the Shock-Free Coalition and Dr. Nathaniel J. Hall from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. The survey takes a few minutes to complete and will provide important data for the Shock-Free Coalition. It is available until April 2, 2019 and is pertinent to anyone who shares, or has shared, their life with pet dogs, who works with dogs, or who has any other interest in dogs in any capacity. Complete the survey by clicking on this link: Electronic Collar Survey.

February 28, 2019: Alberta Veterinarians Vote to Ban Unnecessary Surgical Procedures

Members of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) have voted to ban all unnecessary surgeries on pets, including declawing, ear cropping, and tail docking. The Association is working to have the new policy in place by spring. Dr. Darrell Dalton, registrar with the ABVMA, said there is “no scientific justification for cosmetic surgeries” and that they are “medically unnecessary,” “cause unnecessary pain to the animal,” and are “inhumane.” Read article

February 27, 2019: California Assemblymaker Introduces Bill to Ban Declawing in Cats

California Assemblymaker Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) has introduced a bill seeking to ban the declawing procedure in cats. “Declawed cats can suffer long-term physical complications as a result of declawing,” said Quirk. Many veterinarians say the practice is barbaric, causes unneeded pain and suffering, and leads to unexpected complications. It is already banned in 20 countries worldwide. Quirk has also introduced a bill seeking to give judges more direction about how to handle pet custody disputes in divorce proceedings and consider an animal’s interests in divorce proceedings and allow joint ownership of a companion animal. Read article

Februrary 22, 2019: BC SPCA Urges Dog Owners Not to Use Shock Collars

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) in Canada is urging dog owners to refrain from using electric shock collars as a training tool for their pets, stating that pet owners are often unaware of the harm the devices can cause. Says Dr. Karen van Haaften of the BCSPCA: “[Shock collars] cause pain and signs of fear in dogs, and long term they’re actually associated with poor behaviour outcomes, including increased rates of aggression, increased fear and anxiety-related behaviours.” Read article

February 21, 2019: Study Indicates Fewer Flies Land on Horses Wearing Striped Coats

The function of zebra stripes has been a “source of scientific interest for over 150 years” and there is now there is an “emerging consensus among biologists that the primary function of contrasting black and white stripes on the three species of zebras is to thwart attack from tabanids” (aka horse flies). A new study examines the behaviour of tabanids around horses wearing differently coloured cloth coats and reports on the duration of time that tabanids spend on equids with different coloured pelage, and concludes that “that, up close, striped surfaces prevented flies from making a controlled landing but did not influence tabanid behaviour at a distance.” Read study


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