Electronic collars that can shock dogs and cats should be banned in England, the government said.
Animal charities have long pushed for the devices to be banned, arguing they are needlessly cruel.
Remote-controlled training devices – electronic collars or shock collars – can trigger an electronic pulse of up to 6,000 volts on a dog’s neck and can shock an animal for up to 11 seconds at a time, according to the Dogs Trust.
Other electronic collars make a painful sound or vaporize a chemical that is harmful to the dog’s acute sense of smell.
The Kennel Club pushed for a ban, arguing that pets react to shocks out of fear of further punishment.
The use of electronic impact collars is banned in Wales and Scotland has started to ban them.
In England, the crackdown follows a public consultation that took place in March through April and drew more than 7,000 responses.
Environmental officials have said that in addition to being misused to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering, there is also evidence that electronic collars can redirect aggression or generate anxious behavior in pets. companionship, which worsens underlying behavioral and health problems.
However, the government has refrained from banning “invisible fence” systems designed to keep pets, especially cats, off roads. The animal receives a static impulse if it crosses the boundaries of a property, so it learns to stay away.
While the ban on shock collars is widely supported by animal lovers, those who defend their use say they only hurt when misused.
Some proponents say they allow the dog handler to correct or arrest a dog when he commits a “crime” such as hunting cattle – when the dogs are in legal danger of being shot.
A Czech online store that sells the collars says on its website: “What’s wrong with a dog who gets spanked on the buttocks when he does something wrong? Nothing. What has changed with the start of the electronic collar? He says no collar has ever killed an animal. “Yes it hurts but it’s the same with hand punishment,” he said.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, “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.”
Many people who responded to the consultation expressed concern about the number of pet owners who use hand-held devices improperly and without proper training.
The Dogs Trust, which says training methods such as food rewards are the best technique, said they were pleased with the ban on electronic collars but regretted that the move did not cover “containment” fences.