On 16th January 2023, the French Parliament banned the use of dog and cat collars that cut into, electrify or otherwise “strangle” the animal for training purposes. The collars could be 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. Anyone in breach of the ban could pay a fine between €750 and €3,750.
The bill, which specifically bans the “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,” was proposed by Corinne Vignon MP. It passed by 111 votes in favour versus five against (the only MPs to vote against were from the Rassemblement National party).
The new law also bans the sale and marketing of these types of collars with penalties of up to €3,000 for individuals and up to €15,000 for corporations.
The animal welfare group La Fondation Brigitte Bardot said in a statement the following: “[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.” Ms Vignon, the MP of Haute-Garonne, had criticised these collars for causing “physical and psychological injuries”, and he said that they are “not effective, and are counter-productive.”
France has been updating its animal protection laws regarding companion animals. From 2024, cats and dogs will no longer be displayed and sold at pet shops in France, when a law passed in November 2021 will be implemented. The general public will no longer be able to trade dogs and cats online either. It is hoped that this law will address the problem of increased abandonment of companion animals during people’s return to work after COVID restrictions.