Michael Gove has announced that he has scrapped plans for a complete ban on electric collars for pets.
The environment secretary still plans to ban the collars when used for training purposes but told MPs he believes when used with containment fences the collars offer pets “freedom”.
Gove said: “Containment fences can play a valuable role in ensuring that individual animals, dogs and cats, can roam free in the domestic environment in which they are loved and cared for.
“We want to introduce legislation to ensure that the use of shock collars as a means of restraining animals in a way that causes them pain is adequately dealt with.”
John Hayes, a Conservative MP added: “The consultation process has shown how important containment fences are to the welfare of our nation’s cats and dogs. It has confirmed what academic evidence has shown just how important they are in protecting pets from road traffic accidents.”
Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave, who uses electric collars on his Old English Sheepdog is reported by the The Times to be “delighted” at the news.
The announcement comes just days after Dogs Trust and other animal charities urged the government to ban the collars indefinitely.