In a giant leap for all dogkind, England announced their decision to ban shock collars.
According to Gizmodo, the UK's Environmental secretary Michael Gove announced the exciting plans last week, explaining that the country would strictly prohibit collars that aim to punish pups. Though most dog owners no longer use the archaic devices, there are some that still do. The collars are designed to shock man's best friend when they don't follow orders and were originally designed to keep hunting dogs from wandering off in the 60's.
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Scotland is currently working toward a similar outcome, while Wales led the pack by banning the collars in 2010. Strangely, many were shocked by Gove's declaration as it went against his previous stance. In February 2018, Gove's department sent a report to the Royal Veterinary College declaring that there wasn't enough evidence to put a blanket ban on punitive collars.
Currently, around 5 percent of dog owners in the UK are thought to use the devices. Shock collars are no joke, administering up to 6,000 volts on the unsuspecting animal's neck. Some collars allow the owner to do so for 11 seconds at a time. The USA has no laws on these right now, although the government has acknowledged that using them can present a serious risk to the well-being of the dog. Not only are they being physically hurt, but there are also repercussions for the mental health of the pup, too.
Shock collars aren't the only damaging leash on the market either. Prong collars (metal collars attached to a leash with large wire prongs that dig into the dog as the owner pulls) and choke collars are also widely available. Understandably, animal rights activists commonly campaign for the abolishment of any restraint that can inflict pain.