Defra has confirmed it is now looking at banning electronic training collars in England.

The Government has launched a consultation to seek views on a proposed electric training collar ban for cats and dogs in England, as suggested several weeks ago by the Kennel Club.

The club earlier claimed that a ban on the sale and use of the devices was on the way, following a consultation period. At the time, the Kennel Club said it was “delighted” by the proposal, while BASC thought a ban would be “disproportionate”.

Two types of collars

Launching the consultation, Defra explained: “We are proposing a ban on two types of e-collars for cats and dogs. The ban will apply to handheld remote-controlled devices and containment systems.

“Remote-controlled devices can be operated by the owner/handler to stop unwanted behaviour by triggering an electronic pulse or other deterrent. Containment systems can be used to keep a cat or dog within a certain area. When the animal approaches the boundary it will trigger a pulse or other deterrent.

“Containment systems can be used to keep a cat or dog within a certain area. When the animal approaches the boundary it will trigger a pulse or other deterrent.”

Last resort

After the Government confirmed its intention to seek a ban, Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner commented: “Our position has always been that electric collars have no place in the day-to-day training of dogs and should only be used as a last resort; in cases where all other training methods have failed and where a dog out of control could cause serious harm to itself and other animals.

“It is therefore disappointing that Defra has pre-empted and dismissed this argument in the consultation document as there is a strong case that electric collars can resolve problem behaviour that might otherwise mean dogs leading very restrictive lives, or for which euthanasia would have been the only option.”

Interested organisations have until Friday, 27 April, to offer their opinions on the proposed collar ban.