Ban on shock collars for ‘cruel’ animals will not extend to Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland may soon be the only part of the UK where electric dog and cat collars are not banned.

Used as training devices, remote control collars can trigger an electrical pulse of varying strength or spray harmful chemicals onto the animal.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce the decision to ban their sale this week, the Mail on Sunday reported.

The newspaper said the Environment Secretary called the collars “punitive devices” that “can cause harm and suffering, intentionally or not, to our pets.”

The use of collars was banned in Wales, and earlier this year Scotland started banning dog owners from using them.

The government can ban the devices in England, and potentially here.

However, he has deliberately avoided introducing legislation affecting Northern Ireland when Stormont is not functioning, meaning it may be the only part of the UK where the practice can continue.

The devices cause dogs to howl, scream, squat and exhibit physiological signs of distress in dogs, the Dogs Trust previously said.

And although they are sold to improve dog behavior, they can actually make an animal’s behavior worse, the charity noted.

A survey for the Dogs Trust earlier this year showed that nearly a third of people (31%) mistakenly believed collars, which can shock a dog continuously for 11 seconds, were already banned.

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