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Cricketer Ian Botham attacks ‘Soviet-style bureaucracy’ of Welsh Government’s electric dog collar ban

15 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Ian Botham picture by Nic Redhead (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Ian Botham has become the latest to attack the Welsh Government’s ban on electric dog collars, saying that it was an example of “Soviet-style bureaucracy” in the countryside.

The English cricketer’s comments follow those by TV presenter Gareth Wyn Jones who called for Wales’ ban on electric dog collars to be scrapped over the weekend.

In 2010, Wales became the first UK region to outlaw the use of electric collars, while Scotland issued guidance discouraging their use in 2018.

Some Welsh Conservatives have already been vocal in their opposition to the ban, with former Welsh Secretary David Jones saying that new data made clear that the “ban has failed and, paradoxically, is leading to many animal deaths”.

Ian Botham, who was given a peerage in 2020, said that the “stupidities keep growing” with the latest being a plan by England’s environmental protection department, Defra, to follow Wales and ban the practice of shock collars for dogs.

Writing in the Telegraph he described the shock collars as the “only scientifically proven way to stop dogs ripping out the throats of sheep”.

“Guess what happened in Wales when this training was banned? Attacks on sheep soared. The Telegraph revealed in March that there are four times more attacks on sheep in Wales than in Scotland, where e-collars are allowed.

“So we will be seeing more dead sheep on the hills of England over the next few years. And more dead dogs after farmers shoot them.”

He added that: “The Soviet Union failed because bureaucrats tried to run every detail of life.”

‘Deterrent’

His comments come after the NFU released data showing that Welsh farmers suffered £306,068 in losses from dog attacks last year compared with £68,408 in Scotland.

The Welsh Government however have said that they have no plans to review the position, saying that e-collars “cause pain”.

Last week farmer Gareth Wyn Jones said that “you have to be cruel to be kind” and that a collar stopping a dog from chasing livestock was better than having to put a dog down after it had killed a sheep.

The Government is banning things because they believe that it is cruel, but what is crueller? For a sheep to be ripped to pieces or for a dog to have a little electric shock which is less than they get from a fence?

“These collars are a deterrent. You don’t have to be clever to understand that proper training can save lives – sheep lives, dogs’ lives, or even people’s lives as owners get into serious problems and we have seen people trampled when they have a dog that is chasing livestock.”

He added: “The Government has to go back and look at the evidence, they have to listen to the people on the ground.”


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Peter Apps
Peter Apps
21 days ago

This is ithe seond article that says e-collars are banned in Scotland – they are not.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
21 days ago

Would he wear one?….

Ruth Cahill
Ruth Cahill
21 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

All the e-collar users I know test them on themselves before using them on a dog. Quickest and easiest way to find out if they are working and it gives you an understanding of the sensation a dog gets from the stim.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
21 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Perhaps we should put one on him…or better still his testicles.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
21 days ago

As one who was once close to being trampled by heffers being disturbed by a dog, I am with Mr Botham.

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
21 days ago

Training dogs not to chase sheep needs access sheep to train the dog with.
With our current dog, it took I guess at least 15 hours of exposure plus
the example of an older dog who already had the plot, but I have year round access to sheep to do this with. Not many farmers will be so kind !!!
Whatever the training method it needs access to sheep, there is a higher order problem which is ignored in this discussion.
All for Tory AM/MP’s being allowed to continue to use shock collars for their own pleasure.

Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
21 days ago

Radical alternative idea.

How about tying a shortish length of rope or similar to a non-electric collar on the dog, and the owner keeps hold of the other end at all times when near livestock?

Too complicated maybe?

Grant
Grant
21 days ago

To easy

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
21 days ago

No, too simple. It would mean that all sheep need to be kept in fields. Sheep stray into our garden once a month least once a month. Our dog sits down and looks at them, but that training was a lot of work. If you live in a city, your idea works. In rural areas its quite different.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
21 days ago

I think you’ll find that the tory MPs have already bought up all the bondage gear.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
21 days ago

I know Ian Botham has done a lot of good for charity, and he’s even walked the length of Wales with funds raised going towards our first Children’s Hospital in Cardiff where before no thanks to previous Westminster Labour & Tory Government never even bothered even though they built 27 children’s hospitals in England meaning ill Welsh children & families had to travel in some cases hundreds of miles to England. But sorry Ian Botham you are wrong on so many levels. To refer to Welsh Government banning electric dog collars as “Soviet” is ridiculous?. Electric dog collars are barbaric.… Read more »

Grant
Grant
21 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Sir Botham argument holds more weight than the Welsh Gov. Figures speak for themselves. I’m surprised with the small population of Wales how such a act was passed.

Lebowski
Lebowski
21 days ago

He’s going to the Botham of hell

Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams
21 days ago

He’s spot on be humane and reverse the e-collar ban in Wales let’s save lives that’s what matters

Quornby
Quornby
21 days ago

I’ll do you a deal Ian…. you can keep boring me with your circulation machine adds IF you keep your butt out of Welsh politics.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
21 days ago

“only scientifically proven way to stop dogs ripping out the throats of sheep”.

Really? I very much doubt it.

Oh and one other thing, I know this is a bit “off piste” but the Soviet Union banned lobotomies long before the UK (where 17,000 were performed) and the USA (where 40,000 were performed). Bloody Soviet bureaucrats.

Richard
Richard
21 days ago

This is the sort of argument that we see in the USA saying that guns kill
people where it is people who kill people ! Dog shock collar supporters just replicate the Trump .and NRA view of life…..

Last edited 21 days ago by Richard
Ted rogers
Ted rogers
20 days ago

Botham keep out of wales ,stick to your revitive

Ted rogers
Ted rogers
20 days ago

When out on a country walk ,keep the dog on a lead

Rob
Rob
20 days ago

Is this the same Ian Botham who called England an island? Who backed Brexit because England should have the right to govern itself?.

andrew r north
andrew r north
20 days ago

Usual twaddle from yet another rabid tory pysco.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
20 days ago

Sorry, did you call Wales a “region”?

Stephen Mason
Stephen Mason
19 days ago

I never knew Sir Ian Botham was an expert on the Soviet Union. Well, you live and learn.

G. Williams
G. Williams
18 days ago

Certain individuals are being led by the nose by the shock collar industry in order to spread their propaganda. The article ‘Dogs Attacks on Sheep Due to ‘Failed’ E-collar Training Ban’ is misleading and without fact. The article quotes a sheep farmer suggesting the Welsh ban on shock collars has failed, when in fact, the shock collar ban has saved tens of thousands of dogs from suffering needless shocks. It appears to me that statement was intentionally made to bamboozle the public. The farmer also attempts to defy rational thought by suggesting e-collars are like vaccines. He further claims, “it… Read more »

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