Electric shock pet collars will be banned in England, confirmed the government today, March 13.
The announcement responds to animal rights activists and thousands of supporters who backed countless campaigns calling for the devices to be made illegal, after Wales introduced a ban and Scotland announced it would follow suit.
The remote control devices have been described as ‘torturous’, used by owners on dogs for training purposes, by emitting up to 6,000 volts into a dog’s neck.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said today:
We are a nation of animal lovers, and the use of these punitive devices can cause harm and suffering, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to our pets.
Organisations and MPs have campaigned against the use of shock collars passionately and we are listening to their concerns.
We are now proposing to ban the use of electric shock collars to improve the welfare of animals.
Among those pushing for the ban is animal charity Dogs Trust.
It welcomed the government’s plans to ban the collars, which the charity described as ‘torturous devices’ which ‘can send between 100 to 6000 Volts to a dog’s neck’.
The ban was discussed on Good Morning Britain:
Rachel Casey, Dogs Trust’s Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, said:
It is both unnecessary and cruel to resort to the use of these collars on dogs. This type of device is not only painful for a dog, it can have a serious negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.
A dog can’t understand when or why it’s being shocked and this can cause it immense distress, with many dogs exhibiting signs of anxiety and worsened behaviour as a result.
She suggested that positive reinforcement methods, such as food-based treats, are the best way to train a dog.
The Kennel Club, which has been campaigning on the issue since 2010, said they were ‘delighted’ that a ban is on the cards.
Dogs are awesome and they deserve to be treated well:
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said:
A ban on electric shock collars is a significant win for dog welfare and will protect countless dogs across the UK. Training a dog with an electric shock collar causes physical and psychological harm and is never acceptable, especially given the vast array of positive training methods available.
We are delighted that the Government has listened to the Kennel Club’s longstanding campaign to ban shock collars and hope that a ban on their use is imposed swiftly.
Shock collars are often marketed as a harmless quick fix solution for dealing with training issues. The truth is that, far from providing a solution, they can easily cause more problems than they seek to fix, and damage the strong bond that should exist between a dog and its owner.
We applaud Defra for issuing a consultation on banning shock collars, and for taking such a strong stance on the importance of welfare in dog training.
Elisa Allen, Director at PETA UK, told UNILAD:
You wouldn’t use electric shocks on a child, and that tells us that inflicting pain as a punishment or teaching method is abhorrent and cruel.
The shocks from such torture collars have been compared to being stabbed in the neck, the devices can malfunction and cause painful burns, and they provoke distress, anxiety, confusion, and behavioural changes in their victims – that’s why PETA defines their use as abuse.
Dogs depend on their guardians to look after them, so the only training tool that should ever be used is positive reinforcement – never punishment or pain.