Electric collars for dogs and cats will be prohibited

Electric shock collars used on dogs and cats will be banned, the government is expected to announce this week.

Collars are used to train pets by emitting an electrical pulse of varying strength or spraying harmful chemicals on dogs or cats.

They can shock animals continuously for up to 11 seconds.

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Dogs can be shocked continuously for 11 seconds by the collars (Photo: PA)

But as he prepares to ban them, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has called the collars “punitive devices” that “cause harm and suffering” to pets.

Mr Gove, who has described Britain as an “animal-loving nation”, will this week reveal the decision to ban the sale of the devices after a massively supported public consultation to ban them.

The use of necklaces has already been banned in Wales, and earlier this year Scotland started to follow suit.

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

Ministers launched the public consultation on the issue in March, which received more than 7,000 responses.

In February, the Dogs Trust launched a campaign to ban collars nationwide, claiming they cause dogs to howl, scream, squat and show physiological signs of distress in dogs.

Dogs Trust hails Scottish government ban on the use of electronic shock collars Charity says aversive training methods are detrimental to dog welfare

Charity Dogs Trust launched a campaign against collars in February (Photo: Dogs Trust)

File photo dated 11/12/17 of Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who will chair a new campaign to reduce the illegal killing of African elephants.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Date of publication: Sunday, August 12, 2018. The Ivory Alliance 2024 will bring together a network of world leaders, conservationists and experts to engage with countries with high demand and trafficking for ivory.  See the story of the AP ENVIRONMENT Elephants.  Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano / PA Wire

Environment Secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce the necklaces ban this week (Photo: PA)

Although they are sold to improve dog behavior, they can make the animal’s behavior worse, the charity said.

A Populus poll of 2,067 adults earlier this year found that 84% of people knew they caused pain and 83% of dog owners would not use them.

A third of those polled mistakenly thought that necklaces were already banned.

Rachel Casey, Dogs Trust’s Director of Canine Behavior and Research, said: “We are dismayed that it is still legal to buy and use electronic shock collars in England. 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 well-being.

“A dog cannot understand when or why he is shocked and this can cause him immense distress, with many dogs showing signs of anxiety and worsening behavior as a result.”

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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