As somebody who abhors these devices and had many arguments about them I am pleased to see that this case has been brought to court.Â These devices are still being widely used across Europe and Wales was right to bring in a ban which should now be agreed across Europe and elsewhere.Â The use of these collars were banned during my time in the Dog Section but many thought that was harsh.
These collars are still being sold in the Surrey area but should be banned by the Government forthwith along with pinch collars and other similar cruel dog ‘training’ devices.Â They have no place in any dog trainers armoury if they know what they are doing.
A dog owner who fitted an electric shock collar to his pet has been fined Â£2,000 in the first case of its kind.
Phillip Pookâ€™s Border Collie, Dougie, got a shock every time he approached a fence surrounding the house.
The dog repeatedly tried to escape and was found wandering alone on a nearby beach wearing the illegal collar.
The couple who spotted him contacted the Dogsâ€™ Trust charity, which traced the owner from a microchip implanted in the animal.
Electric shock collars are hugely popular across Europe and theÂ U.S. with an estimated 500,000 in use in the UK, mostly on dogs but also on cats.
Pook, 48, is the first person to be convicted of using the device after Wales banned their use last March â€“ the first European country to do so.
The collars, which cost between Â£100 and Â£200, are made of heavy-duty plastic and contain a battery pack and two metal prongs which rest against the animalâ€™s neck.
Owners use them for training purposes and to try to stop pets straying out of a garden.
When the pet gets close to the boundary, the collar emits a warning sound.
If the animal ignores it and tries to leave the garden, the collar gives off a shock.
Pook admitted an offence but said he was unaware the collars were illegal in Wales.
In the first case of its kind, David Prosser, prosecuting, told magistrates in Bridgend, South Wales, that the dog had a habit of escaping from its owner. He said it was known at a local kennels as â€˜the dog with the shock collarâ€™.
The court heard that a young couple found the animal roaming a beach near Pookâ€™s home in Ogmore-by-Sea.
Bench chairman Caroline Naysmith told him: â€˜We accept that you attached theÂ collar with good intentions and when you first did so it was not illegal.
â€˜But you knew the law had changed and you continued to attach the collar anyway.â€™
Pook was fined Â£2,000 and ordered to pay Â£1,000 court costs after admitting using the illegal dog collar under animal welfare laws.
Pook used the collar on his border collie because it kept escaping from his home in Ogmore-by-Sea, near Bridgend
The RSPCA yesterday welcomed the conviction and called for the collars to be banned across Britain. A spokesman said: â€˜This hasÂ got to be the most expensive dog collar ever. Heâ€™s paid Â£3,000 for it.
â€˜He has been very bloody minded, he was using the collar because he was too lazy to put up a fence which worked.
â€˜Electric collars have now been outlawed in Wales and thereâ€™s no excuse for using them.â€™
He added: â€˜I am under no doubt this would have caused the dog pain.â€™
The Kennel Club also backed the prosecution. A spokesman said: â€˜Electric shock collars train dogs through pain and through fear.
â€˜They are a cruel, outdated and unsuitable method of training dogs.â€™
The offence in Wales carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a Â£20,000 fine.
Although the collars are still legal in England and Scotland, their use is due to be debated by both Governments.
Remote-controlled shock collars have a similar structure but the shock is activated by the owner pressing a button.
They can choose how big or small a shock to give and manufacturers compare the current to that of a static shock.
But animal charities say the technique is cruel and inhumane.