The Welsh government will not review its ban on e-collar training for dogs despite the fact that Welsh farmers are four times more likely to experience dog attacks than other UK nations.
Data from the National Police Chief Council's report into livestock worrying shows that Welsh farmers are being forced to shoot far more dogs than their English counterparts.
The concerning statistic was highlighted in yesterday's (27 March) The Sunday Telegraph.
Responding to the report, former Welsh Secretary David Jones MP said the data made clear that the ban had "failed" and was "leading to many more animal deaths".
He said that in response to the suffering being caused to sheep and dogs the ban should be “urgently reassessed”.
However, in response, the Welsh government said e-collars cause pain, adding "we have no plans to review this decision."
E-collars are used to train dogs to associate sheep with a static pulse and so become wary of approaching them.
Academic studies have found that the dogs continue to avoid sheep even when they are off-lead.
That is particularly important given that police data reveals that in 89% of attacks in North Wales the dogs had escaped from human control.
Plaid Cymru’s Peredur Owen Griffiths MS has also urged a review of the ban on e-collar training.
In his letter to Wales' Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths he said: “E-collars act like a vaccine against a dog’s desire to chase sheep.
"Being shot by a farmer is clearly far worse for the dog than being trained with a one-off startle from an e-collar.”
Meanwhile the Conservative Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Sam Kurtz MS this month challenged Minister Griffiths over the increase in sheep attacks.
The Welsh government banned the training of dogs with e-collars in 2010. In 2018 Scotland decided against following suit.
In England, Defra has said it still plans to go ahead with a ban which was first proposed by then Defra Secretary Michael Gove four years ago.
In a statement today, Jamie Penrith of the Association of Responsible Dog Owners said that David Jones MP was right to say that the policy had failed.
"Welsh sheep and dogs are dying in horrific numbers because of the ban on these training aids," Mr Penrith added.
"If the Welsh government refuses to review this ban it would indicate a heartlessness to the sheep which are being savaged and the dogs which are being shot.”