Former Thatcher aide behind campaign to prevent ban on electric shock collars for dogs

electric shock collars

By Billy Briggs in The Ferret

A former assistant to Margaret Thatcher has been running an alleged astroturf campaign lobbying governments to prevent a ban on the use of electric shock collars on dogs.
Ian Gregory runs a public relations firm called AZ Advice which created Facebook pages encouraging people to sign a letter urging politicians to resist calls for a ban on the use of electric shock collars — controversial training devices which deliver shocks to a dog’s neck.
Gregory — a former producer at BBC News who worked for Margaret Thatcher — has lobbied on behalf of the electronic dog collar industry previously, and for both fracking and grouse shooting interests.
Electric shock collars, aka e-collars, have already been banned in Wales and they will be prohibited in England from 1 February 2024.
Combined, AZ Advice’s two Facebook pages spent £5,583 targeting users interested in sheep and farming, and encouraging them to sign the letter. Neither Gregory nor AZ Advice disclosed details about who funded them to create and manage the pages.
There is nothing illegal about this and there is no suggestion of malpractice.
However, opaque political campaigns such as these have been criticised and the term “astroturf” refers to an activist group or movement that misleadingly appears authentically grassroots in origin.

You can read the full story in The Ferret

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