Pronged collars (also known as a pinch or constriction collar) are illegal to import into Australia but are only illegal to use on dogs in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. The RSPCA is opposed to the use of dog pronged collars due to the potential risk of injury, pain and suffering they cause and because other more humane training methods are available.
What is a pronged collar?
Pronged collars are made of metal and are designed to tighten around a dog’s neck whenever pressure is applied. These collars have a series of fang-shaped metal links, or prongs, with blunted points which pinch a dog’s neck when pulled. These collars are used to correct unwanted behaviour through punishment. Unfortunately, some dog trainers recommend these collars, even though more humane training methods are available (including rewards based training, which the RSPCA recommends).
What are the laws?
Under Australian customs legislation, it is illegal to import pronged collars. However, many dog owners are not aware of this and unscrupulous distributors import collars in segments to avoid breaching the import legislation. Upon arrival, the collars are reassembled and sold. Unfortunately, the sale and use of pronged collars is not illegal under federal customs legislation. Three jurisdictions in Australia have now banned the use of these collars: Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland, under their Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.
|State/Territory||Are pronged collars prohibited?||Name of relevant act/special conditions and requirements|
|ACT||No||There are no current prohibitions.|
|NSW||No||There are no current prohibitions.|
|NT||No||There are no current prohibitions.|
|QLD||Yes||Section 37A of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (updated on 12 December 2022) prohibits the use of prong collars unless the person has a reasonable excuse. A prong collar is defined as a collar that is designed for use on a dog; and consists of a series of links or segments with prongs, teeth or blunted open ends turned towards the skin of a dog so that, when the collar is tightened, the collar pinches the skin around the dog’s neck.|
|SA||No||There are no current prohibitions.|
|TAS||Yes||Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 1993 (updated on 30 November 2022) prohibits the use of pronged collars on animals.
A pronged collar is defined as a collar, designed for use on animals, that consists of a series of links or segments with prongs, teeth or blunted open ends turned towards the animal’s neck so that, when the collar is tightened, it pinches the skin around the animal’s neck.
|VIC||Yes||Section 9 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 prohibits the use of a pronged collar on any animal.
A pronged collar is defined as ‘a collar designed for use on dogs that consists of a series of chain links with blunted open ends turned towards the dog’s neck so that, when the collar is tightened, it pinches the naturally loose skin around the dog’s neck.
|WA||No||There are no current prohibitions.|
What can be done?
Many dog trainers and animal welfare groups continue to advocate for the sale and use of pronged collars to be prohibited in all jurisdictions. Community pressure and support for a ban on the sale and use of pronged collars are an important part of achieving change.