This is a very slippery slope; Mr Gove has been led astray by the RSPCA and Bambi huggers who have little understanding how these collars work. Dogs are highly intelligent, they quickly learn to work with these safe and humane collars, which are set to emit a buzz or vibration, which used properly will stop a dog determined to go hunting, or attack livestock or other dogs, in its tracks.
If legislation to ban these collars is imposed, it will not be long before the same people will be demanding that electric fencing keeping cattle and sheep contained and safe is also banned. Or, as someone suggested last week when discussing this matter, ‘it won’t be long before there are demands for dogs to be given the vote!
This ban will not improve animal welfare. Dogs which currently are free roam owner’s fields and gardens knowing their boundaries, will either be chained, kept in kennels for hours on end, or even be destroyed.
As with responsible and loving parents who know when to administer a timely slap to an unruly child, so too do responsible pet owners who care and wish to prevent their dog or cat escaping beyond the boundary of the invisible fence, which alerts the animal to that boundary with a succession of bleeps.
Would the minister prefer that these animals get run over, or possibly cause fatal accidents to car drivers? Surely dogs which hunt and play within the confines of a garden or field, are healthier and happier than those locked or chained up all day, except when being taken out on a lead.
Mr Gove obviously has no idea how technology has advanced, or recognises that 99% of owners are caring and responsible. The modern day advanced collars keep cats, and dogs safe. The latter also when out walking in the countryside. If more owners used them when about near livestock, there would be far less carnage, and financial loss and heartbreak for farmers.
Using words such as ‘barbaric, cruel and terrifying’, is purposely incendiary. Mr Gove and his fellow MPs should be properly informed, research the matter and should not allow those who have little understanding of their practical, helpful and humane use, drive forward the argument.
Perhaps we should consider replacing our canine friends with a robot dog. They could see off the burglars, keep us company, join us on walks, round up our sheep and cattle in place of a collie, and when off duty go and help our neighbours picking cauliflowers or other commercial vegetables at night.
The University of Plymouth is working in fields of cauliflowers in Cornwall to see if a fleet of smart robots could fill the gap in the labour market and help cut costs.
These robots are already considered to be more efficient than human pickers, as they happily work for 20 hours, and operate better at night when it is easier to control the light conditions.
So a little moonlighting by Robo Dog could earn his keep, funding his Bonios or batteries in this case.
Ted heath betrayed our fishing industry, and now when we have at last got the opportunity to regain control of British waters it looks like Chancellor Philip Hammond is about to do the same. He is now suggesting that our fishing rights are disposable, and hinting that the Government may give them away in return for a better Brexit deal. How dare he treat out fishermen who voted mostly Brexit, so shabbily?