The Netherlands has banned the use of shock collars on domestic pets – effective from July 2020 – in a move to improve animal welfare. Those who utilize shock collars after 1 July 2020 could face a fine of up to 20,000 euros ($22,437) or even a prison sentence of three years.

This banning of the devices was announced by the country’s Agriculture and Nature Minister Carola Schouten, who says there is no evidence that shock collars achieve better results in behavioral training.

“The animal suffers from it, it hurts, and if that is not necessary, we shouldn’t do it,” she told the Netherlands Times.

Shock collars are devices used to give electric shocks of varying duration and intensity to the neck of a dog. The Netherlands has deemed the device “a serious, inescapable violation of the welfare of dogs”, which are predominantly used in training sessions.

David Barritt, chief campaigner for Network for Animals applauded the Netherlands move: “Other countries should follow this example. Shocking dogs is inhumane and should never be done.”