Containment collars

An electronic collar is an animal collar that is designed to be capable of imparting an electric shock to an animal.

People using electronic collars must comply with legal requirements under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019. (POCTA Regulations 2019).

This page outlines the legal requirements relating to electronic 'containment collars', worn by cats or dogs as part of a containment system.

Read about the legal requirements relating to the use of 'anti-bark collars', and 'remote training collars' for dogs.

General legal requirements relating to the use of electronic collars

You must not use an electronic collar on an animal that is not a dog or cat. Electronic collars may also be used on specified livestock species but only as part of an approved scientific procedures program under a licence issued under Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 POCTA Act.

You must only use authorised electronic collars on cats and dogs.

  • In relation to dogs, authorised electronic collars mean a 'remote training collar', an 'anti-bark collar', or a 'containment collar'.
  • In relation to cats, authorised electronic collars mean a 'containment collar'.

You must not use an authorised electronic collar unless:

  • a veterinary practitioner has examined the physical health and temperament of the dog or cat and reasonably believes that the dog or cat is suitable to have an authorised electronic collar used on it
  • the dog or cat is over 6 months of age
  • a collar is not left on the dog or cat for more than 12 hours in any 24 hour period
  • the use is in accordance with any instructions for use of the collar provided by the manufacturer
  • the dog or cat is introduced to the use of the collar in accordance with a training program that complies with the Code of Practice for Training Dogs and Cats to Wear Electronic Collars, made under the POCTA Act.
  • the collar complies with the technical specifications approved under the POCTA Regulations 2019.

The current technical standard approvals for electronic collars mean you must only use collars that meet the standards set as Technical Requirements for Electronic Pet Training and Containment Collars by the Electronic Collar Manufacturer’s Association. In Victoria electronic collars used on dogs and cats may emit an automatic audible emission, or vibratory warning signal, prior to delivery of the impending electronic stimulus.

Specific legal requirements relating to containment collars

'Containment collar' means an electric collar that is designed to be worn by an animal as part of a containment system.

'Containment system' means a method of containing animals to a specific area through the use of a containment collar which may deliver an electric shock to an animal if it gets too close to the designated boundary.

A person must not use a containment collar on a dog unless the person has ensured that the dog is trained to the use of the containment system and collar by:

  • a veterinary practitioner, a qualified dog trainer or competent trainer, or
  • a person acting under the supervision and written instructions of veterinary practitioner, a qualified dog trainer or competent trainer.

A person must not use a containment collar on a dog unless there is a visual cue (such as a fence, posts or flags) that clearly indicates to the dog the boundary of the containment system.

A person must not use a containment collar on a cat unless the person has ensured that the cat is trained to the use of the containment system and collar by:

  • a veterinary practitioner or competent trainer, or
  • a person under the supervision and written instructions of a veterinary practitioner or competent trainer.

A person must not use a containment collar on a cat unless there is a visual cue (such as a fence, posts or flags) that clearly indicates to the cat the boundary of the containment system.

Under the POCTA Regulations 2019, a 'qualified dog trainer' is defined as a person holding a qualification obtained on satisfactory completion of a course that meets the prescribed requirements for a dog obedience trainer assessment program under Regulation 5G of the Domestic Animals Regulations 2015 (DA Regulations) or a qualification obtained on completion of the National Dog Trainers Federation Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training course. More information about approved dog training organisations under the DA Regulations can be found on our Obedience Training Organisations page.

Competent trainer' means a person who is employed by a company that sells containment systems and who is competent to conduct a containment system training program for dogs or cats that complies with the Code of Practice for Training Dogs and Cats to Wear Electronic Collars, made under the POCTA Act.

More information

Contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186, or visit our Animal Welfare section.

Page last updated: 22 Jun 2022