Honiton MP leads fight for felines at manifesto launch

PUBLISHED: 18:30 24 February 2015

Neil Parish MP at the launch of Manifesto for Cats.

Neil Parish MP at the launch of Manifesto for Cats.

Archant

Cats Protection, the nation’s leading cat charity, unveiled the ten point document, with support from PetPlan, at a reception attended by more than 35 MPs and Lords.

Honiton MP Neil Parish has hosted the launch of the UK’s first ‘Manifesto for Cats’ in the House of Commons.

Cats Protection, the nation’s leading cat charity, unveiled the ten point document, with support from PetPlan, at a reception attended by more than 35 MPs and Lords.

With 24 per cent of UK households owning at least one cat and an estimated feline population of 10.5 million, Cats Protection hopes owners will get behind the manifesto.

It is also looking for owners to call on other politicians and policy-makers to protect cats from abandonment, harm and neglect.

Compiled following a three-month consultation with members of the public, the document includes a wish list of policies.

These include controlling the irresponsible breeding and sale of cats, banning snares, and the inclusion of animal welfare in the National Curriculum. They can also find out how to ask their local MP to get involved with the manifesto.

Mr Parish said: “As a cat owner myself, I am delighted to host the launch of the first-ever Manifesto for Cats.

“There are areas of feline welfare where more work should and can be done to tackle cat abandonment.

“I look forward to submitting this manifesto to the Secretary of State.”

The 10 manifesto priorities to improve feline welfare are:

• Breeding of cats for sale: Updating the law to control the breeding and sale of cats to reduce the number of unwanted kittens.

• Microchipping: Making it compulsory to microchip owned cats.

• Cats entering the UK: Creating a national database to ensure a central record is kept of cats entering the UK legally so those entering without a rabies vaccine can be identified.

• Dog attacks: Creation of a new offence within legislation governing dangerous dogs where a dog that is out of control attacks, injures or kills a cat.

• Cats and the curriculum: Inclusion of animal welfare in the National Curriculum so that all children learn about responsible pet care.

• Cats and housing providers: Government recognition of the needs of people with cats or other companion animals in rented housing and care homes to allow people to keep their pets.

• Cats and personal wellbeing: Government monitoring to ensure that assessments and personalised care plans include consideration of any companion animals that form part of the individual’s household.

• Products toxic to cats: Clear labelling of flowers, plants and household products that are toxic to cats so cat owners know which to avoid.

• Cats and snares: An outright ban on the use of snares on the basis they are inhumane and cruel, inflicting suffering, injury or death on cats and other animals.

• Cats, airguns and crossbows: Stricter regulation on the ownership of air guns and crossbows to prevent injury or death to cats shot by such weapons.

More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk


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