Shockproof collars have always been a controversial tool for dog training. These are small bands that can send electric shakes to a dog as a training method. But are they legal to use in the UK? The answer is complicated.
Electric shock necklaces were banned in Wales over ten years ago in 2010. However, people are still allowed to use them in England and Scotland.
Fortunately for dog rights activists, the government had already promised a ban on these collars in 2018. A ban was even proposed in August of the same year, with Michael Gove claiming that the collars cause “harm and suffering.” to pets.
“We are a nation of animal lovers, and the use of punitive shock collars causes harm and suffering to our pets,” he said. “The ban will improve animal welfare, and I urge pet owners to use positive reward training methods instead.”
Basically, the government has said it will ban impact collars in the future, but the ban has yet to be put into law, TeamDogs reports.
RSPCA Dog Welfare Expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Electric shock collars have been illegal in Wales since 2010 and the RSPCA has long called for them to be banned in England as well.
“In May 2021, in its action plan for animal welfare, Defra (the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) announced that it would ban remote controlled electronic training collars, given their ability to harm cats and dogs.
“These collars are used to train and control cats and dogs, but can cause pain and fear. They are useless for long term behavior change which can be achieved using positive reward based training.
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“It’s time we relegated electric shock collars to the history books, because they have no place in today’s pet ownership.”
Can I use a shockproof collar on my dog in England?
Technically yes, it’s legal, but it probably won’t be for long. In addition, the government announced a ban and animal welfare charities such as the RSPCA and Dogs Trust said the devices caused “pain and distress” in animals, so use necklaces – although still legal – is not encouraged. They have been banned in Wales.