Electronic training collars have been banned in a number of Member States, particularly in northern Europe, but continue to be sold and used on the continent in countries such as France. By means of electric shock, these collars are used to prevent dogs from barking. Using a remote control, the handler can make the collar either produce a sound, vibrate or, worst of all, shock the animal at different intensities.
These accessories cause the animals physical and potentially extreme psychological suffering, making them experience fear, anxiety and stress. They lead to many behavioural disorders in dogs and are widely considered ineffective among professionals.
Allowing this type of collar to be sold seems to run counter to Article 7 of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, which prohibits the use of artificial training aids that cause physical and psychological suffering.
In light of this, could the Commission answer the following questions:
1.Will it incentivise the Member States to comply with Article 7 of the aforementioned convention?
2.If they refuse to do so, will it ban the sale and use of such devices in the EU?
1. The European Convention on the protection of pet animals (CETS No 125) is an initiative managed by the Council of Europe and to which the EU is not a party.
2. Under the existing EU animal welfare legislation, the welfare of dogs is regulated only in limited circumstances, in particular during transport in connection with an economic activity. Any remaining aspects concerning the welfare of dogs is subject to Member States’ national legislation. Regarding possible future developments in this area, currently the Commission is planning to revise the EU legislation on animal welfare by the end of 2023 and is considering options in order to develop further requirements for the welfare of companion animals.