In the UK there has been much hotly contested debate on the use (and misuse) of electronic dog training collars, particularly those which emit a form of electric shock. Some groups have called for their complete ban while some dog owners have declared the tool to be a (literal) life saving device.
Wales has banned the device but the rest of the UK still finds them to be legal and they are widely advertised for sale – both online and elsewhere. But should we be looking to the other side of the world for a model as to how they can (or should) be regulated? Here’s how Australia tackles the ‘eCollar’ issue.
The following text comes from The Australian Department of Primary Industries:
Electronic Collar Use in Victoria
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 set out when and how electronic collars can be used on animals in Victoria.
Electronic collars are defined in the regulations as an animal collar that is designed to be capable of imparting an electric shock to an animal. This does not include citronealla type collars.
Electronic collars can only be used on dogs and cats, they cannot be used on any other species.
Only authorised collars can be used on cats and dogs.
Authorised electronic collars are split into two categories:
* containment systems – can be used on dogs and cats
* remote training and anti-bark type collars – can be used on dogs only
The regulations also set out a number of conditions for authorised collars and their use as well as requirements for sellers and hirers of these collars.
These legislative requirements are explained in three information sheets which can be downloaded via the links below.
You will need Adobe Acrobat to view these documents. A free copy can be downloaded from Adobe Acrobat (external link)
# Factsheet 1: Electronic Collars – Anti-bark and Remote Training collars (PDF 40KB)
# Factsheet 2: Electronic Collars – Containment systems (PDF 40KB)
# Factsheet 3: Electronic Collars – Conditions for sellers & hirers (PDF 40KB)
These information sheets have been developed for use by sellers and hirers of authorised electronic collars to provide to those purchasing or hiring these collars to enable them to meet their requirements for notification under regulation 24(4). Regulation 24(4) requires that purchasers are informed in writing of the legal requirements of use of these collars in Victoria.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulations can result in either an infringement notice or prosecution in a court of law with a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units (approximately $1134*).
(*based on 08/09 penalty unit value of 113.42, note penalty unit value is indexed and changes annually)
What’s your view?
Should the (whole of the) UK take a more regulatory approach to the use and sale of electronic pet training and containment devices as has happened over in Australia or do you feel that electronic collars are a tool that have their place and should remain free from government intervention on their sale?