Shockproof dog collars still legal in England despite government promise to ban

Shock collars, which provide a volt of electricity to a dog’s neck as a training tool, have always been controversial.

They have been illegal in Wales since 2010, but they are still legal in England and Scotland, despite campaigns by several animal welfare charities and the government promising a ban in 2018.

A ban on shock collars was proposed by law in August 2018, with Michael Gove claiming 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.”



Shock collars have been illegal in Wales since 2010, but they are still legal in England and Scotland, despite campaigns by several animal welfare charities and the government promising a ban in 2018.

However, although the government has said shock collars should be ‘banned’ for pets, they are still legal in England and Scotland, as challenges from the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA) have delayed the release. legislative action on the ban.

This ECMA legal challenge has since been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, and the Kennel Club is now calling for “swift action” to implement the ban on shock collars, meaning their use could be made. illegal in the years to come.

In February 2020, the Dogs Trust charity said: ‘We are delighted that the government has listened to the concerns and in 2018 announced the ban on the use of handheld remote control devices in England as secondary legislation under of the law on the protection of animals.

In February 2020, the Dogs Trust charity said: ‘We are delighted that the government has listened to the concerns and in 2018 announced the ban on the use of handheld remote control devices in England as secondary legislation under of the law on the protection of animals.

“However, there has been a disappointing delay in introducing this legislation and we urge the government to do so as soon as possible.

“It is both unnecessary and cruel to use these collars on dogs and we totally oppose them – they not only cause discomfort, but can have a serious negative impact on their mental and physical well-being.

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

So, are shock collars legal in England and Scotland?

Technically yes, at the moment, but with the RSPCA saying the devices cause “pain and distress”, and Dogs Trust claiming that rewards such as food are an “effective” training method, it’s best not to use shock collars on any animal.

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