Greens disappointed but not ‘shocked’ by Gove backtracking on electric collar ban

The Green Party’s Animal Spokesperson, Keith Taylor MEP, has slammed Michael Gove as reports suggest the Government has ditched plans to support a “long-overdue” ban on “barbaric” electric shock collars for cats and dogs.

The Environment Secretary had previously announced a plan to ban the devices completely but yesterday suggested he would make an exception for their use with containment fences.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr. 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.”

Responding to the U-turn, Keith Taylor, Vice President of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup, said:

“It’s hugely disappointing that self-proclaimed animal welfare advocate Michael Gove appears to have dropped long-overdue plans to help protect pets from barbaric cruelty at the hands of electric shock devices.”

“The ban enjoys huge support among animal advocates, animal charities, NGOs, and it has been in place in Wales for almost a decade. There is no excuse the Environment Secretary can conjure that can justify this shameful U-turn.”

The senior Green politician accused the Government of failing to ‘make easy wins’ on animal welfare. He continued:

“On animal sentience, there is still no word on when that bill will ever become law and a refusal to back Caroline Lucas’s amendment to ensure the EU protection is retained post-Brexit. And now on shock collars, Michael Gove has backtracked only weeks after announcing plans for a ban to great media fanfare.” 

“There is a real sense that the Environment Secretary and the Conservative Government is failing to secure easy animal welfare wins. They loudly talk a good game in the pages of the press, but when the news cycle has shifted focus and it comes to taking action, they continue to quietly stumble.”