A CHORLEY manufacturer - backed by its professional body - has failed in a High Court bid to overturn a ban on electronic collars.

Then Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced a ban on 'e-collars' - remote control devices which issue shocks to straying dogs and cats in August 2018.

But a judicial review was sought by Petsafe, based in East Terrace, Euxton, also supported by the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA).

Lawyers representing Petsafe claimed Mr Gove had prejudged the issue, by issuing a statement on the collars to Parliament, in April 2018, indicating his support for such a ban.

Stephen Broach and Imogen Proud, for the claimants, also insisted that the consultation process undertaken by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) was flawed, leading to an "irrational and disproportionate" decision being made.

The company and association argued it was possible to regulate the use of e-collars, to allay any animal welfare concerns.

The court heard DEFRA, which received more than 7,000 responses to its own consultation, was adamant the "fundamental rationale" behind the restriction was indeed to promote animal welfare

Mr Justice Morris ruled that Mr Gove was entitled to have a pre-disposition on the merits of e-collars, even if he "could have expressed himself more carefully at times".

The judge also said that the animal welfare question was a legitimate purpose for proposing a ban.

He added: "These proceedings have raised a number of matters about which the claimants have, understandably, had concerns. There are aspects of the Secretary of State's approach to the introduction of a proposed ban on e-collars which are justifiably open to criticism. Ultimately however I conclude that the Secretary of State has not acted unlawfully."