Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has backed a campaign by the #ShockinglyLegal campaign to ban the use of electric shock collars on dogs. 

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity launched its #ShockinglyLegal campaign to help urge the Government to ban the sale of electronic shock collars. Gwynne attended a drop in event at the House of Commons to pledge his support to help ban the use and sale of these shocking training devices.

A recent poll1 revealed around a third (31%) of the public wrongly believe shock collars are already illegal, yet despite public opinion, buying and using one of these painful devices to correct a dog’s behaviour, is shockingly still lawful in England.

84% of people know that shock collars cause a dog pain, but the sad reality is that they are still readily available to buy at the click of a button. These torturous devices can send between 100 to 6000 Volts to a dog’s neck, and have the capacity to continuously shock a dog for up to 11 terrifying seconds at a time. Research shows that physical effects can include yelping, squealing, crouching, and physiological signs of distress in direct response to an electric shock. It’s not just shock collars – spray and sonic collars are also widely for sale.

Whilst the use of electronic shock collars is banned in Wales, and Scotland has also made moves towards prohibiting the use of these cruel devices, England is dragging its heels. Only Westminster has the power to ban the sale of electronic shock collars so Dogs Trust is urging members of the public to tweet their MP using the hashtag #ShockinglyLegal to help bring this important issue to light.

What is an electronic shock collar?

Electronic shock collars are devices used to remotely or automatically deliver a shock to the wearer via metal contacts with the neck, and are used by some people to try and correct problem behaviour in their dogs.

What is positive based training?

 Positive reinforcement training or reward-based training uses praise and/or treats to reward your dog for behaving in the right way. The dog will associate a reward with the desired behaviour, which makes him more likely to repeat the behaviour.

Positive methods of training were reported to be more successful than e-collar use when direct comparisons were made between training with e-collars vs with positive reinforcement.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I’m delighted to pledge my support to Dogs Trust in calling for a ban on the use and sale of electronic shock collars.


“These aversive training methods are outdated and cruel, and there is no need for them to be used when there are so many positive training methods available. This is a hugely important issue for dog welfare and I hope my support will help make a difference. ”

(1) Populus surveyed 2,067 adults online from across the UK. Fieldwork took place between 9th and 11th February 2018. The data has been taken from nationally representative omnibus surveys and has been weighted to the profile of the population. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at

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