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UK Residents: Urgent Action Needed to Make a Kinder World for Pets

We have less than six months for UK citizens to get 100,000 signatures on this petition to ban electric shock collars for dogs and cats.

Your signature attests, “I petition for the ban of electric shock collars due to the harmful effects they can have.”

  • At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition.
  • At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
  • Deadline: 28 August 2024

Five Reasons to Act Now:

  1. Research shows that shock collars can cause emotional distress in dogs. (See Additional Resources below.)
  2. Aversive training devices, including electric shock collars, can cause unnecessary suffering.
  3. Positive reinforcement methods have been found to be more effective and humane than aversive training methods.
  4. Animal welfare organisations have advocated for a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars.
  5. Shock collars are banned in many countries, due to the distress, pain and fear they can cause. Shock collars are banned in: 
    • Germany 
    • Austria 
    • Denmark 
    • Wales
    • Norway
    • Sweden
    • Portugal
    • Slovenia 
    • Switzerland 
    • Quebec – Canada 
Text and a photo of a shock collar circled with a red line through it.
The use of electric shock collars violates the Animal Welfare Act

Inflicting Pain on Animals Is Unlawful

Let’s explore European Animal Welfare laws, specifically the UK Animal Welfare Act of 2006, and its Five Freedoms, which are:

  • A suitable diet
  • A suitable environment 
  • To be able to exhibit normal behaviours
  • To be housed with or without other animals depending on species and the individual
  • To be protected from pain, suffering, disease and illnesses.

Advocates believe the use of electric shock collars on dogs is inconsistent with animal welfare laws. It is time the UK came down hard on animal abuse and enforced the Animal Welfare Act to ensure the protection of animals within the UK and to allow them to be free from abuse and distress as the Act states.

In August 2018, Michael Gove announced electric shock collars would be banned. Now in 2024 they are still not banned, nor is legislation in place for the ban on the sale or use of shock collars. Despite the UK Government’s intent to ban them in 2018, they remain legal.

“Cruel and Completely Unnecessary”

Yet, within the UK and beyond, there are many organisations who have publicly declared their concerns that the electric shock collars can cause pain and suffering to dogs and cats. They want the electric shock collar to be banned. Here’s what some leading organisations are saying:

 “We’re calling on the UK governments to bring into force a complete ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars for dogs and cats.” – The British Veterinary Association

 “We fully support a complete ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars. We believe that these devices cause unnecessary pain and suffering for dogs, and a total ban on their use is well overdue.” – The Kennel Club

 “Government must deliver on its commitment to ban cruel electric shock collars…” – Dogs Trust

 “Shock collars are used to train and control cats and dogs but can cause pain and fear. Not only are these collars cruel, but they’re also completely unnecessary. Ethical reward-based training can be used instead to achieve long-term behaviour change.” – RSPCA

 “The primary reason shock collars are effective in stopping behavior is because they are painful, and it is time for pet professionals to stop inflicting pain masquerading as training, and take shock off the table once and for all.” The Pet Professional Guild

Your Voice is Needed Today

As a wheelchair user who walks three large breed dogs on harnesses, there is absolutely no need or excuse for these barbaric pet training devices. The focus should be on prioritising dog welfare. I have been in communication with the government who encouraged me to build this petition.

It is time the UK set the standard as an independent country and stood alongside Wales who has banned the use of shock collars since 2010, to set a standard for animal welfare and the prevention of harm and abuse to dogs within the UK.

Please sign this petition and share it everywhere. Let’s get shock taken off the table! 

About the Author

Person and two dogs.Tasha Attwood is a force-free dog trainer and behaviorist in Lincolnshire, UK. Very passionate about force-free training and methods, Tasha has trained four dogs, a hedgehog, and a rabbit to expert titles with trick titles -and two bearded dragons currently at novice trick title level -to not only enrich their lives but prove that force-free training can be done with any species. As a wheelchair user, Tasha absolutely loves to show training tutorials to demonstrate how dogs can be trained despite limitations. For more information, visit their website, Mutts & Mischief and follow on Facebook.  

Pictured: Tasha with assistance dog, Koda (on the right, in lilac and pink vest) and assistance dog in training, Django (on the left, in the green vest).


Association, B., 2020. BVA Policy – Electric Shock Collars and Training Aids. British Veterinary Association.

GOV.UK. 2020. Animal Welfare. [online] Available at: 2020. Electric Shock Collars. [online] Available at:…/electric-shock-collars

Tudge, N. and Nilson, S., 2016. The Pet Professional Guild – The Use of Shock in Animal Training. [online] Available at:

Additional resources:

Do Electric Shock Collars Harm Dogs?

Bowen-Vaccare, L., 2020. Do Electric Shock Collars Harm Dogs? – Whole Dog Journal. [online] Whole Dog Journal. Available at:…/do-electric-shock…/

Electric Dog Fences: Are They Safe?

Miller, P., 2003. Electric Dog Fences: Are They Safe? – Whole Dog Journal. [online] Whole Dog Journal. Available at:…/electric-dog…/

Effect of pet training aids, specifically remote static pulse systems, on the welfare of domestic dogs

In the Welfare of Domestic Dogs. Final Report in Defra Project AW1402

Available at:…

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