University of Lincoln research: “Very seriously flawed and should not be relied on”
Four separate expert reviews find Lincoln’s e-collar research to be full of mistakes
One of the reviewers is the world expert Professor Doug Elliffe who is Deputy Dean of Science at New Zealand’s top-rated University of Auckland. His hard-hitting review concludes that Lincoln’s work is “very seriously flawed and should not be relied on”. 
Professor Elliffe also states that there is established research which contradicts Lincoln’s view that reward-based training is better than e-collar training. He has found e-collars to be “reliable” in reducing predatory behaviour by dogs. Such reductions “could certainly not be achieved by positive reinforcement – ‘reward-based learning’ – alone”. 
In a second academic critique Sargisson & McLean say that Lincoln produced no evidence to support its conclusion that e-collars caused “suffering”.  They also state that, as the dogs were on leads, the results “shed no light on the possible behaviour of the dog if off-lead or when the owner is absent”. The inconsistencies meant that the research “cannot be used to justify the banning of e-collars for the prevention of canine predation”.
Finally a review by the School of Canine Science found that “the bias seems to go one way” as the dogs Lincoln selected for training with e-collars had more pre-existing behaviour problems. 
The flaws identified by these expert reviews are not primarily with the analysis in Lincoln’s China et al. (2020) paper. (It was the first attempt at writing a paper by an MSc student.) They are due to multiple errors in the underlying research which Lincoln conducted for Defra.
 China, L, Mills, D.S., & Cooper, J.J. (2020). “Efficacy of dog training with and without electronic collars vs. a focus on positive reinforcement.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00508/full
 Elliffe commentary on China, Mills & Cooper (2020)
 The winter of 2010/11 saw extreme weather in Scotland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_2010%E2%80%9311_in_Great_Britain_and_Ireland
 Elliffe commentary on China, Mills & Cooper (2020) see footnote 8. This view of the efficacy of e-collars concurs with the findings of CAWC, 2012 which stated that ”a systematic review of peer-reviewed scientific publications revealed… that the application of an electrical aversive can suppress predatory-type behaviour and that these effects might be quite enduring”: http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/id/eprint/14640/1/CAWC%20ecollar%20report.pdf
 Sargisson & McLean draft commentary for Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2020
 Bailey review of Lincoln’s AW1402A research project for Defra
 School of Canine Science review: https://www.facebook.com/schoolofcaninescience/posts/3160247170734282