An alarming spike in the number of banned ‘pronged’ dog collars detected at the border has prompted a warning from the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The collars are considered dangerous due to the possibility of the prongs causing injury by puncturing or bruising a dog’s neck during use, even if unintentional, and the potential for misuse, and as such are classified as a prohibited import.
The majority of intercepted consignments are of single collars and banned collars have been detected by ABF officers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth during the past 12 months. There has been a more than seven-fold increase in pronged dog collar detections from April 2020 – March 2021 compared to the previous 12 months, up from 56 to 477.
ABF Assistant Commissioner for East and Port Operations, Erin Dale, said although the massive increase in detections was pleasing from an operational perspective, the trend was concerning.
“Pronged dog collars can only be imported into Australia if permission has been granted by the Minister for Home Affairs or an authorised person. But this is rarely granted due to the high risk of harm they pose to animals,” Assistant Commissioner Dale said.
Under the Customs Act 1901, individuals who unlawfully import these collars can be prosecuted, facing penalties of up to $222,000.
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