Customs officials in Cape Town confiscated a batch of these collars, which had come into the country from America, amongst other places.
The shock collars don't meet the requirements of the South African Bureau of Standards.
One of the devices, which works with a remote control and which has been sent on for further testing by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, has a range of 0 to 10, indicating the intensity of the shocks. There is no indication, however, of the strength of the electronic shock being emitted.
"This is one hell of a device. It is being sold for about R2 000. I regard it as being used illegally. It has the ability to be used purposefully to cause pain," said Allan Perrins, executive head of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on Tuesday.
Perrins said the Animal Protection Act was being contravened.
Michelle Moll, senior inspector in the SPCA's national office, said the association's research unit was busy testing the effect of the impulses that were being emitted by the shock collars.
"We want to establish precisely how many impulses are activated with it and how strong the shock impulses are.
"You wouldn't believe how much the use of these shock devices has increased," she said.
"The device is shocking. It causes pain and fear, said Karen de Klerk of Animal Rescue in Ottery.