Electric shock collars for pets to be banned

The government has announced that electric training collars for dogs and cats are to be banned under new legislation.

Remote controlled electronic training collars (e-collars) have a remote device that triggers an electronic pulse, which can be varied in strength, while others may spray a noxious chemical.

As well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering, there’s also evidence e-collars can re-direct aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets, which can make underlying behaviour and health problems worse.

The announcement follows a public consultation on a proposed ban for all e-collars, however, the ban does not extend to invisible fencing systems.

The public consultation attracted over 7,000 responses and around 50% of responders stated specifically that they did not want containment fences banned.

A considerable number of responses, whether supportive of a total ban or of invisible fencing, also expressed concern at the number of people who use the hand-held incorrectly and without proper training.

Animal welfare charity, the RPSCA welcomes the ban on electric shock collars. But would like to see this extended to containment fences.

A spokesperson said: “The RSPCA welcomes today’s announcement from government to ban the use but sadly not the sale of remote electronic training collars. However, we are bitterly disappointed that, unlike in Wales, the ban will not include those used with electronic containment fences.

“The RSPCA strongly believes that in modern day society there is no excuse or need for the use of devices which can compromise cat and dog welfare, especially when humane and viable alternatives to training and containing dogs and cats are available.”