Electric shock collar ban has bite

19 July 2011 by

When the Welsh Assembly voted to ban the use of the electronic training collar, which works by emitting an electric stimulus when the dog goes near a forbidden object like a fence, the main opponents of the ban the Electronic Collar Manufacturers’ Association were quick to take judicial review proceedings against the Welsh lawmakers.

They alleged that the ban was in breach of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to enjoyment of possessions and property) and the prohibitions in Articles 34 and 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which prohibit restrictions to free trade.

They were unsuccessful in their bid to disqualify the ban and we posted an analysis of the case and the issues it raised. Since this post has attracted over three thousand hits since its publication, we feel it only right to follow it up with this story of the first prosecution under the ban.

Phillip Pook, 48, from the Vale of Glamorgan, bought one of these collars before their use became illegal and continued using it after  the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars (Wales)) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/934) came in to effect in March 2010. He was fined £2,000 by the magistrates and had to pay another £1,000 in costs.

The prosecution told magistrates that Mr Pook had been warned in April 2010 that these sorts of collars were illegal in Wales, although they are allowed in England. Use of the collars is to be debated in Hollyrood and Westminster.

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2 comments


  1. Dave Boardman says:

    Totaly against a ban,Obviously the owner of the spaniel above had the collar set at to higher level. The whole idea is to set the level of stimulus to a point that is just high enough to gain the attention of the dog. If it wasnt for these collars my dogs (Head strong terriers) would more than likley be dead now. Its all very well saying all dogs can be trained by the rewards methods,but I disagree,you try getting 3 terriers to come back to you when all they want to do is run free.These collars are no more harmfull than a TENS machine when used by responsible owners. Dave.

  2. Penny Bateman says:

    As someone who has seen an electric shock collar in action here in Woodleigh, I would like to endorse the ban 100%!
    Seeing the spaniel jumping and throwing itself around and hearing it shrieking in pain, I cannot understand why they were ever legal.
    I told the lady concerned that if I ever saw her using it again, I would call the RSPCA and thankfully, she has stopped using it.

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