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2nd May 2023

Cats Protection has welcomed a Government announcement that it will ban the use of remote-controlled electronic shock collars for cats and dogs.

Such devices work by a remote control which triggers an electronic pulse directly onto the animal’s skin as a punishment for what is perceived to be bad behaviour. A user can vary the strength of the shock and can use it repeatedly, or spray the pet with a noxious chemical.

The charity, which is the leading voice on feline welfare, says the use of such punitive devices can cause pain, fear, and stress to cats. Any training method for animals should use positive reinforcement where a reward is given when the animal behaves well. Punishment like electric shocks can lead to behavioural problems and impact the bond an owner has with their pet.

But while the charity has welcomed the step, it has called for the Government to go further and ban the sale and use of all types of electronic shock collars, including those used in conjunction with containment fences for cats and all other aversive training devices.

Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Madison Rogers said: “Electronic shock collars are cruel and there should be no place in our society for devices which can cause significant pain and distress to cats.

“While banning remote controlled electronic shock collars is a huge step forward, we would like to see the Government go further and ban the sale and use of all types of electronic shock collars and aversive training devices. Just as with collars, these devices cause needless pain, fear and suffering to cats and other animals.

“Where possible most cats should be free-roaming but if needed cat owners should use non-electric solutions to control all or part of a garden or area of land a cat can roam in, such as non-electric cat-proof fencing. Cats Protection suggests that professional advice is sought when considering the best option.”

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