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.

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 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 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
  • the collar complies with the technical specifications approved by the Minister. The current approved specifications are available at [insert link to page]. Note: in general, if the collar meets the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA) standards, you can presume it meets these requirements.

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 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.

Qualified dog trainer means a person who has completed a qualification approved by the Minister, and published in the Government Gazette, relating to the training of dogs. The current approved qualifications can be found on the Gazette website (PDF).

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 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986

More information

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

Page last updated: 12 Jul 2021