Electric collars that shock dogs and cats should be banned by the government.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed this week that “punitive” shock collars that “cause harm and suffering to our pets” must be banned.
Used as training devices, remote control collars can trigger a pulse of varying intensity or spraying harmful chemicals on the animal.
However, a letter sent by the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in February suggested there was not enough evidence to support a ban.
The document, sent to the Royal Veterinary College, noted that the scientific research it had commissioned “was not strong enough to support a ban” on “electronic dog training aids.”
A similar statement was made by Minister Defra George Eustice in a 2014 letter, in which he said the ministry did not consider there to be “evidence that the use of such devices causes unnecessary suffering”.
Dog trainer and activist Jamie Penrith said that in February the government had “insufficient evidence” to conclusively support the suggestion that collars have a negative impact on well-being, but that “two weeks later, in early March, these “barbaric and punitive devices need to be taken off the market.”
Ian Gregory, a lobbyist for pet collars, said: “The Secretary of State should refrain from feeding the nation’s pets with Twitter wolves.
“The reported anecdotal issues with pet collars can be addressed through product standards rather than banning proven technology.
“The hundreds of thousands of dog owners using a remote trainer do not deserve to be criminalized.”
The ban on remote-controlled electronic training collars will not be extended to invisible fence systems that can keep pets off roads and within a boundary without receiving a static impulse, the government said.
Mr. Gove said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and the use of punitive shock collars causes harm and suffering to our pets.
“This ban will improve animal welfare and I urge pet owners to use positive reward training methods instead.”
The announcement was well received by the Dogs Trust.
Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behavior and Research at the Trust, said: “Scientific research has shown that electronic devices that deliver an aversive stimulus have a negative impact on the welfare of dogs, so this ban will have a major positive impact for dogs in the UK.
“However, we are saddened that the government has not gone one step further and taken this opportunity to ban the use of containment fences, to ensure that all British dogs are protected from this approach. obsolete training. “
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.