Dog owners warned about major rule change as pet accessory is banned
| Last updated
Dog owners are being warned about a major rule change as a ‘cruel’ pet accessory is banned, following a 10-year campaign.
The devices - which have been branded ‘cruel and unnecessary’ - deliver electric shocks to dogs’ necks via a remote control.
The shock can be administered by the user for up to 11 seconds each time, and up to two miles away, meaning a dog that’s not in sight of its owner can still be shocked.
They have already been banned in Wales for 13 years, while France also put a stop to them in January this year.
According to The Kennel Club, which has been campaigning for the ban elsewhere in the UK, five percent of dog owners reportedly use electric shock collars.
The organisation plans to continue campaigning for the same laws to be introduced in Scotland, saying a complete ban across the UK would mean half a million dogs being ‘saved from being trained by these highly aversive devices’.
Mark Beazley, Chief Executive of The Kennel Club said: "The legislation banning electric shock collars in England, which comes into force next year, is a historic moment for animal welfare and will put an end to the misery and suffering of countless dogs who are still subject to these cruel and unnecessary devices.
"There is simply no excuse for using these devices, which cause physical and psychological harm, especially given the vast array of positive training methods available.
“This is the culmination of over a decade of campaigning for us and we applaud Defra for helping to safeguard the welfare of our nation’s much-loved dogs. More action is urgently needed in Scotland, where regulations are needed to replace the ineffective guidance currently in place, and we will not rest until we see the complete ban on these devices that cause suffering and harm.”
The Kennel Club said there is ‘wide-ranging evidence’ demonstrating the detrimental effect electric shock collars have on the welfare of dogs.
In 2019, a study carried out by the University of Lincoln found that the collars compromised dog’s well-being, even when used by ‘professional’ e-collar trainers.
It also determined that the products were no more effective in training than positive reinforcement methods.
When the proposed ban was first announced by the government in 2018, then-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove said: "We are a nation of animal lovers and the use of punitive shock collars cause harm and suffering to our pets.
"This ban will improve the welfare of animals and I urge pet owners to instead use positive reward training methods."