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Flanders to ban shock collars for pets

Photo by Caleb Stokes on Unsplash

Flanders is planning to ban the sale and use of shock collars for pets by 2027, according to Flemish Animal Minister Ben Weyts.

Shock collars are electric collars often used for dogs in order to punish them for barking.

Some agencies like the military and police also use the collars in order to train animals.

“Shock collars for dogs were not questioned for a long time, but we have evolved as a Flemish society,” said Minister Weyts in a statement.

“Outdated tools like most electric collars no longer belong in Flanders.”

Some behavioral therapists for animals oppose the ban, saying that the shock collars are necessary tools for them to train pets.

The decision to impose the ban comes after requested counsel from the Council for Animal Welfare, along with a survey of 2,700 dog behaviorists, trainers, employees of dog schools and hunters.

There will be a transitional period over the next few years intended to allow people reliant on shock collars for their work with animals to switch to alternatives.

Collars used for invisible fencing will still be allowed.

There will be no exceptions to the shock collar ban for military, police or behavioral trainers.

The move is the latest in Weyts’ campaign against needless animal suffering: he has also recently banned the use of fair ponies, saying “we have a damn duty to actually avoid avoidable animal suffering.”

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