Kennel maiden explained to me in a PM that the electric collar is illegal in much of the UK and I suppose that for similar reasons there is huge opprobrium heaped upon anyone who uses the collar or even speaks the "e-word" in polite company in that part of the world. This all seems really silly to an American for two reasons.
First (and if you think about it, we could probably all agree on this one): The way the e-collar is used today (and I'm thinking of Hillman's system) the stimulation is almost imperceptible. That being the case, there is scant difference between the tactile buzz of the e-collar and the auditory sound of a clicker or even the verbal "atta dog". The advantage of the collar over a clicker and an "atta boy" is that at a distance, the timing of the stimulation is instantaneous and all things auditory are delayed sufficiently to distort their usefulness beyond even 50 yards/meters or so. In fact, poor timing on an auditory stimulus can screw the dog up. It's not neutral, it's detrimental.
Second (and this one will probably be divisive and I apologize in advance) making something like this illegal is so irritating for Americans. The "nanny-state-ism" that punishes the whole group for the stupidity of the minority of idiots that abuse something or just have rotten manners is just... wrong. Abusing dogs is evil. Make that illegal and enforce it vigorously. The e-collar is a tool. Nothing more or less.
(I've been in some serious pain today that renders me cranky and intolerant, and I've taken an opiate which disables most of my edit function. So please forgive if I've offended. I'm really not a butt-head ordinarily.)