Relevant Laws Re: E-Collars
What are electronic collars
E-Collars are very misunderstood tools that when used appropriately, can be very effective in teaching your dog when other methods have been proven to not be effective.
When considering the dangers, risks, costs and significant pain/death associated with a snake bite, e-collars have been historically used by qualified trainers to teach dogs to stay away from snakes. It is important to understand there may be a place for e-collars.
This page is about helping owners better understand answers some of the important questions relating to e-collars to determine their effectiveness, appropriate use and relevant laws pertaining to their use so you can make a more informed decision.
What are electronic collars
In accordance with Regulation 5 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019, an electronic collar is defined as any animal collar capable of implementing/imparting an electric shock to an animal. For the purpose of training, we use Remote Training Collars.
Are e-collars lawful to use?
Yes, but only in accordance with of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 people can use electronic collars on dogs in Victoria.
Requirements for e-collar use
Regulation 24 states:
A person must not use an authorised electronic collar on a dog or cat unless—
(a) a veterinary practitioner has examined the physical health and temperament of the dog or cat and reasonably believes that the dog or cat is suitable to have an authorised electronic collar used on it; and
(b) the dog or cat is over 6 months of age; and
(c) a collar is not left on the dog or cat for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period; and
(d) the use is in accordance with any instructions for use of the collar provided by the manufacturer; and
(e) the dog or cat is introduced to the use of the collar in accordance with a training program that complies with the Victorian Code of Practice for the Training of Dogs and Cats to Wear Electronic Collars; and
(f) the design and technical specifications of the collar comply with standards that have been approved by the Minister and published in the Government Gazette.
(1) A person must not use a remote training or anti-bark collar on a dog unless—
(a) the person is a veterinary practitioner or qualified dog trainer; or
(b) The person is acting under the supervision and written instructions of a veterinary practitioner or a qualified dog trainer.
(2) If subregulation (1)(b) applies, the use of the collar must be reviewed by the veterinary practitioner or qualified dog trainer—(a) within 6 months of the examination referred to in regulation 24(a); and (b) at least every 12 months after the first review.
The Code of Practice
The code of practice for training dogs to use e-collars sets out the MINIMUM standards for the use of e-collars and includes the following:
• Prior to the use of an e-collar, it is important to identify the cause of the problem. The dog owner needs to first seek professional advice from a vet, qualified dog trainer or animal behaviourist to provide recommendations prior to the commencement of an e-collar.
• Dog owners need to ensure that a veterinarian has been first consultant to the dog’s psychological health, prior to the use of a collar. Failure to do so could increase risks such as: increasing the dogs anxiety, decreasing their ability to learn, developing incorrect associations, not addressing the underlying issue, inducing a new aggressive response, causing confusion or more.
• E-collars must not be used in pregnant or nursing females, dogs with health issues that contradict the use of an e-collar or animals incapable of responding appropriately.
For More Information:
For more information about the laws relating to electronic collars:
• The Department of Agriculture’s website: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/pocta-act-1986/electronic-collars/antibark-and-remote-training-collars
• Austlii for the specific legislation pertaining to the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019: https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/3630dc7b-6469-34c5-bba1-6a1714e61571_19-133sra001%20authorised.pdf
• The Code of Practice for the use of e-collars: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/pocta-act-1986/victorian-codes-of-practice-for-animal-welfare/code-of-practice-for-training-dogs-and-cats-to-wear-electronic-collars