Electric collars for dogs and cats should be banned

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Electric collars for dogs and cats should be banned, Environment Secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce this week.

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

Mr Gove, who has described Britain as a “nation of animal lovers”, is imminently about to reveal the decision to ban their sale, 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.”

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Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on a visit to an electric shock collar event (Clive Tagg / PA)

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Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on a visit to an electric shock collar event (Clive Tagg / PA)

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

But only the UK government can ban their sale across the country.

Ministers launched a public consultation on the issue in March.

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 make the animal’s behavior worse, the charity said.

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.

Populus’ survey of 2,067 adults also found that 84% knew they caused pain and 83% of dog owners would not use them.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was among MPs who pledged support for calls to ban the charity in February and compared their use to caning a child.

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