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Electronic Training Aids (Cats)

Volume 536: debated on Thursday 24 November 2011

DEFRA has neither commissioned nor evaluated any specific research on electronic training aids for cats. DEFRA is currently awaiting the publication and evaluation of recent research on the use of electronic training collars for dogs, before making any decisions on whether to introduce any proposals relating to those devices.

I thank the Minister for that answer, because 250,000 cats are killed on the roads every year. Containment fences and electronic devices help to keep cats safe, and they are completely different from the electronic collars used on dogs. Will he guarantee that, when his Department consults on banning the use of electronic collars, he will distinguish between cats and dogs and work closely with the group, Feline Friends, which is based in North East Derbyshire—my constituency?

I think I can confirm to the hon. Lady’s satisfaction that we have no plans to do anything about training aids for cats. Indeed, the research on dogs that I referred to relates only to collars, not to what is known as the invisible fence. We therefore have no such proposals.

Can my right hon. Friend explain why the Home Office has responsibility for dangerous dogs and he seems to have responsibility for domestic cats?

Well, it is probably because, as anyone who knows me will confirm, I am extremely soft and really just a pussycat myself.