RSPCA: First successful prosecution of electronic shock collar regulations

The RSPCA has welcomed the sentence imposed today on an Ogmore man who pleaded guilty to using an electronic shock collar on a border collie dog.

This was the first prosecution brought under the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010.

Bridgend Magistrates heard that an RSPCA officer had been contacted by the Dogs Trust on 22 December after an electronic shock collar had been found around the neck of a stray dog. The dog belonged to Philip Pook of Ogmore by Sea. The RSPCA officer was informed that the dog had previously been collected by a local authority dog warden on an earlier occasion whilst also wearing the same collar. The court was also told that Mr Pook had been warned on both occasions that using such a collar was illegal in Wales.

The defendant denied using the shock element of the collar and said that he had not realized that the collar was illegal.

Mr Pook was fined £2000 and also ordered to pay £1015 court costs.

RSPCA inspector Nic De Celis said: “It’s gratifying to see that this new legislation really works and it’s making a difference to animal welfare in Wales. I hope this case sends a strong message to all animal owners in Wales that the courts will not tolerate the use of these barbaric devices.”

John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development said: "Raising standards of animal welfare continues to be important for Government. This is consistent with the objectives of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.

"The Animal Welfare Act 2006 introduced the obligation of the duty of care for pet animals and the requirement to meet the five welfare needs – a suitable environment to live in; a healthy diet; ability to behave normally; appropriate company; and protection from pain, suffering injury and disease.

"Because of concerns over possible suffering associated with the use of electronic training collars the Welsh Government introduced, in 2010, legislation to ban their use in Wales and I welcome the court's decision in this case".

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