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Electronic dog collars banned from Trade Me

Why Trade Me has banned the sale of certain dog collars and what those collars are

By Trade Me 5 February 2021

Keeping our animals with compliant dog collars

Meet Dave, a black labrador with a passion for 1970s lino...

We are massive animal lovers here at Trade Me and work with a number of organisations in relation to the items we allow to be sold on the site.

In March 2013 we posted on the topic of electronic dog collars and highlighted that even though we allow these items to be sold on the site, the proper precautions need to be followed as misuse could be harmful to animals.

Since this blog was posted we have been contacted by a number of people and organisations, specifically the New Zealand Veterinary Association Companion Animal Society, (NZCAC), SPCA, and SAFE who have provided us with a great deal of information and evidence regarding behavioural and safety issues associated with these devices.

The experts inform us that these devices are strictly a last resort for animal behavioural correction and their use should only be undertaken by professionals.

Their evidence and feedback from members has convinced us that there is real harm posed to our beloved furry friends when these devices are used incorrectly or inappropriately and the right thing for us to do is to prohibit their sale on the site.

The experts tell us that when misused, these collars can cause extreme distress, pain, anxiety, depression and may even intensify the behaviour of nervous or aggressive dogs.

One man even reported testing the collar on himself and finding it so violent he refused to then use it on his own doggy friend.

We do not recommend this testing procedure!

Due to these concerns we have decided to stop  of collars capable of delivering an electric shock or citronella or lemon spray that do not provide a warning to the animal prior to administering the deterrent.

On citronella, although the experts advise that these are seen as more humane than electric shock collars, there remains considerable debate over the behavioural effects of these products on dogs.

Trade Me is not in a position to resolve this debate, so we have made the call to discontinue their sale to err on the side of what is best for the animals.

The following products may not be listed on Trade Me:

  • Hand held operator remote control electric shock collars
  • Noise activated electric shock anti-bark collars
  • Collars emitting Citronella or lemon spray

You can however list the types of items below;

  • Underground wire (sonic boundary) kits that emit a warning before administering the deterrent (this includes collars that administer a shock or citronella). 
  • Vibrating collars as long as they have no shock function
  • Collars emitting a sound (including ultrasound) as long as they have no shock function.

This policy mirrors recommendations by the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) which has published a policy on the use of behaviour modifying collars on dogs. 

We note the NZVA position on collars with significantly raised studs. Some collars that are permitted by Trade Me's policy will feature raised studs (boundary containment systems for example).

Sellers must ensure that any products they list for sale do not feature studs that could break the skin or otherwise cause significant discomfort to the animal.

Trade Me reserves the right to remove any listings it considers fall into this category.

This policy took effect from 1 January 2014. We would like to thank the NZVA and NZCAC as well as our members for their assistance in compiling this policy. 


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