‘Training’ dog and cat collars that cut into, electrify or otherwise ‘strangle’ the animal have been banned by the French parliament.
MPs voted on January 16 in favour of banning all “use on cats or dogs of any device that has an electrical charge, a looping collar which tightens without a restriction or which has spikes turned in towards the animal’s body”.
This is because these types of collars can cause suffering to the animal.
The collars range from electrified devices designed to stop barking or escaping, or collars that slightly dig into the animal’s neck to dissuade them from pulling or running.
The bill, proposed by MP Corinne Vignon, was passed by 111 votes in favour versus five against. The only MPs to vote against were from the Rassemblement National (RN) party. However, 19 RN MPs voted in favour of the ban, nine abstained.
The new law states that anyone in breach of the ban will risk a fine of €750, rising to €3,750 in case of a repeat offence or for dog handling professionals.
Ms Vignon, who is MP of Haute-Garonne, denounced the collars for causing “physical and psychological injuries”, and said that they are “not effective, and are counter-productive”.
The law also bans the sale and marketing of these types of collars with penalties of up to €3,000 to individuals who do not adhere and up to €15,000 for corporations.
Animal welfare foundation La Fondation Brigitte Bardot welcomed the vote.
In a statement, it said: “[This bill] will put an end to mistreatment that is normalised by violent animal education, which causes physical injuries and traumatic consequences that increase the risk of dangerous dogs and cases of abandonment and euthanasia.”
Animal, and specifically pet, welfare has been in the headlines considerably in France over the past few years, especially after a ‘shock’ campaigning advert showed France was the ‘champion’ of pet abandonment in Europe.
A new animal protection law was passed in 2021, while new owners now have to sign a certificate that shows they understand the financial and moral responsibilities of owning and caring for a pet.