Responding to widespread concerns over the use of electric shock and prong dog collars and a parliamentary call for the Government to ban the use of such collars, the Ministry of National Development promised yesterday (4 Nov) that the issue will be reviewed by a multi-stakeholder work group.

Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng, who is the founder of animal rescue group ACRES, had asked the ministry to consider banning the use of electric shock collars and prong collars in animal training.

The MND responded that its statutory board, NParks, will take enforcement action when animal training methods cause unnecessary pain or suffering to animals, regardless of whether devices such as electric shock collars or prong collars are used.

Pointing out that such collars are used in jurisdictions like New Zealand and Australia with restrictions, such that the collars can only be used in certain situations by certain professionals, the MND said that the Rehoming and Adoption Work Group (RAWG), which was recently established to review practices related to the rehoming and adoption of dogs, will study this issue here.

The MND added: “There are many methods available to train animals without compromising their welfare, such as reward-based training, whereby treats, toys, play or attention are used to reinforce desirable behaviour.

“Importantly, we need to better use science-based training methods in the rehabilitation of the animal and avoid unnecessary pain or suffering to it.”