The One Show has been cleared by Ofcom following complaints from a pets’ manufacturing company.
The European Collar Manufacturers Association and Petsafe approached the media regulator earlier this year, after an April edition of the BBC1 show included a section looking at electric shock collars for dogs.
The two parties claimed the show had exaggerated, dubbed and edited components “for dramatic effect”, creating an “unfair impression of the effect of electric collars”.
The segment had been prompted by the first prosecution of a dog owner in Wales for using the collars after they had been made illegal in the nation.
The report included interviews with an RSPCA rep, who highlighted welfare concerns about their use, and a professional dog trainer who supported them as a training method.
It also indicated that although still legal in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the UK government was “investigating whether there should be a UK-wide ban”.
The One Show presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones discussed the collars and vet Joe Inglis was given a shock using one. Inglis described them as “clearly cruel” and described the shock as “quite something”, adding “so you imagine that round the neck of an animal”.
Both the manufacturer and the association complained that they had been treated unjustly or unfairly.
However, the BBC defended itself saying the focus had been on the use of the collars by pet owners rather than the manufacture or sale of the items, and that neither body had been named. It also noted that it had requested an interview prior to broadcast, but that the complainants were unavailable.
Ofcom found that the programme did not give an unfair impression of electric shock collars for dogs, that the programme makers had taken care not to omit material facts relating to the collars and that it had not been necessary to offer an opportunity for the complainants to respond.