The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced new legislation banning the use of electronic training collars for dogs and cats.
These devices, commonly called shock collars or e-collars, send an electronic pulse to your pet, with the idea of correcting unwanted behaviors. Animal welfare experts note that the devices cause unnecessary harm and suffering and may even worsen a pet’s aggression or anxiety problems.
The Department reports that the ban on e-collars will not extend to invisible fencing systems, because they believe these are useful in keeping dogs and cats away from roads and traffic.
Secretary of State Michael Grove says of the ban, “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.”
The Department notes that members of the public are evenly divided over the use of invisible fencing, with 50% still in favor of the fences. They also report that many citizens have expressed concern over people’s lack of knowledge and training when it comes to the proper use of electronic devices.