TRAINING collars that can give pets painful electric shocks are still legally available in England, despite being banned in Wales and Scotland.
The collars are used to train dogs, and some cat owners use similar devices to keep their cats away from roads.
England’s Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is expected to try to ban shock collars. However, The Times reports that Gove’s colleague, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, has fitted his cats with similar collars.
The RSPCA, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Dogs Trust and Kennel Club have all campaigned for a ban.
Gudrun Ravetz, a vet and Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, told us that: “Electronic training devices, such as shock collars, have a negative, painful effect and can cause unnecessary suffering. We know from leading veterinary behaviourists that using fear as a training tool is less effective than positive training methods, such as encouragements or rewards.
“There isn’t currently any evidence that pulse pet containment fences, which use a collar to deliver a shock if the animal tries to leave, cause the same distress to animals, so we are not currently calling for these to be banned. We would welcome further evidence on their use and effectiveness. Anyone in need of advice on dealing with pet behaviour issues, such as potentially dangerous roaming in cats, should speak to their vet to get advice on how to do it positively and humanely.”