A CARDIGAN woman is to step up her six-year campaign to allow electronic collars for containment fencing on cats and dogs in Wales to protect them from being killed on roads.

Monima O’Connor from Llangoedmor has been spearheading “Save Our Welsh Cats & Dogs From Death on the Roads” to allow the collars once again to be used in Wales, where they are currently illegal. Currently, it is only Wales that has this ban.

Containment collars work with a buried wire round the garden which sends a radio signal to the collar to alert the pet with a warning small beep if it approaches the road. If the pet goes further it receives a mild, static pulse. They are entirely different from electronic collars used to train dogs which is operated by a human hand and could be misused.

Very quickly, the pet realises where it should not go and develops its own comfort zone within the garden, several feet away from both the warning and correction zones.

Monima said: “These collars don’t deliver some big shock like a livestock fence which goes through the body to earth; it’s a small pulse powered by two watch batteries, that doesn’t hurt the animal at all. It is designed to mimic the nip an adult cat or dog gives to its young."

Chris Laurence, a former Chief Vetinerary Officer of the RSPCA who was also a director of the Dogs Trust was discovered to be using such a system in his own garden to keep his cat and dog away from the road. On top of that, Professor Daniel Mills of the University of Lincoln published a three-year scientific study into these boundary fencing systems for cats, and found that they cause no harm at all.

Monima launched her crusade after two of her cats, Blackie and Blotchy, were killed on a nearby road. Monima had her cats’ collars – worn by Splodge and Spooky - modified by an expert electrician to remove the electronic pulse and now they can only deliver a beep.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched a consultation in March on a proposal to ban all electronic training collars after concerns were raised by Ross Thomsen, a Scottish MP. After meeting with officials recently, Mr Thomsen has since said that containment fencing collars should be exempted from any legislation.

Monima is now looking to put pressure on the Welsh Government to rethink its current ban.

She says: “The encouraging news that DEFRA secretary Michael Gove may well exempt containment fencing systems from any ban in England should raise uncomfortable questions for the Animal Welfare Team of the Chief Vetinerary office of Dr Christiane Glossop and the then Deputy Minister for Food & Farming, Rebecca Evans AM.

“In 2015 this legislation “Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) 2010 (Wales) was authorised by Ms Evans to be reviewed and given to two independent vets in England, where all devices are legal.

“Reading through the 30 page report, there is no evidence of any inspection made to any containment fencing system and calls into question their conclusions after the law was left unchanged”.

In response to a question from Westminster MP John Hayes, DEFRA secretary Michael Gove said: "We want to bring forward legislation in order to ensure that the use of shock collars as a means of restraining animals in a way that causes them pain is dealt with adequately.

"But [Mr Hayes] does raise an important point as well. Containment fences can play a valuable part in making sure that individual animals, dogs and cats, can roam free in the domestic environment in which they are loved and cared for."

The RSPCA argues that all electronic collars should be banned because they can cause pain and fear.