Laws for breeding of cats needs updating urgently

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

Last week I wrote about The Manifesto for cats that has been created by Cats Protection and this week I want to put forward the reasons they state produced the document.

The most recent survey stated that one in four households have a cat and in the summer 2014 over 2,000 people participated in the survey.

There are more cats and kittens than there are loving homes and yet there are commercial breeders advertising different litters for sale who are motivated by money rather than welfare.

The laws governing the breeding and sale of cats are in urgent need of updating.

On average five cats a week in the UK are reported as having been shot with an air gun. Typically pellets become lodged in the cats body, it’s brain, eyes, spine or vital organs and 30 per cent are eventually fatal.

A cat will often leave the scene, crawl away to hide or die in a secluded spot.

When air guns are used deliberately to inflict injuries it is not always apparent to the cat owner and delayed detection of the air gun pellets occurs. It is hard to establish when and where the shooting took place and thus it is often very difficult to proceed to prosecution. A stricter licensing scheme would restrict air gun licences to those that have a legitimate reason for them.

There was a 67 per cent increase in the number of cats recorded as having entered the UK legally in 2012 under the new Pet Travel Scheme.

This presents a potential public health risk particularly when the number of illegally entered cats are added to the cat population.

A creation of a national database that registers details of all companion animals that have entered the country legitimately would maximise traceability. Just one cat or kitten smuggled in could put the UK at risk of a rabies epidemic so random checking of vehicles at ports would help to prevent this.

On average 10 cats a month are reported in the press as having been the victim of a dog attack. Recent recommendations have extended the law to cover dog attacks on assistance dogs but not dog attacks on other animals such as cats so a new offence needs to be created.