Leading animal welfare charity Battersea has welcomed the publication of new Regulations to ban the use of remote-controlled electric shock collars on dogs in England.
Ministers laid regulations in Parliament at the end of April which, if passed, will outlaw the use of hand-held aversive training devices on dogs as of 1 February 2024. It comes after DEFRA first launched a consultation into their impact on animal welfare in March 2018.
Battersea has long campaigned against the use of such devices, which operate by delivering an electric shock to the animal to punish it for bad or undesirable behaviour. As well as responding to the DEFRA consultation on the issue, in November 2022 the charity was part of a coalition of animal welfare groups hosting a Parliamentary reception in support of a ban.
“We are delighted to see Regulations to bring about this long-overdue ban, bringing England at last in line with Wales,” said Michael Webb, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Battersea.
“At Battersea, we’ve spent years calling for these training devices to be prohibited, which are widely considered by animal behaviour experts to be both cruel and ineffective. Not only will this move make a huge difference to the welfare of dogs up and down the country, it also brings us one big step closer to our longer-term goal of stamping out the use of harmful training methods on animals once and for all.”
All Battersea dogs are trained using positive reward-based methods which work by teaching the dog an alternative to an undesirable behaviour rather than suppressing it through fear. The charity believes that these techniques are highly effective, producing long term behaviour changes and encouraging dogs to be enthusiastic in their response to training without resorting to fear and pain.