Vets and pet owners are being asked to take part in a major consultation by a feline charity as it prepares its Cat Manifesto ahead of next year’s general election.
Cats Protection has released a list of 10 proposed manifesto priorities that, if delivered, would make what it calls a “huge impact” on the lives of the nation’s eight million pet cats as well as an estimated two million strays and ferals.
The charity – which helps around 218,000 cats every year – is asking pet owners, veterinary professionals and animal lovers to contribute their views in a public consultation.
Cats Protection’s advocacy manager Jacqui Cuff said the charity would use the findings to draw up a final manifesto for cats in the autumn to ensure greater recognition of feline welfare by the next Government.
The list of proposed manifesto points includes:
- updating the law to control the breeding and sale of cats;
- changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) to allow prosecution of owners whose dogs attack, injure or kill cats; and
- the inclusion of animal welfare in the national curriculum so all children learn about responsible pet care.
Ms Cuff said: “Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity and it’s our job to speak up for cats, using our position, expertise and the views of all our supporters and volunteers to improve the lives of the nation’s cats.
“The manifesto we’re drawing up calls for measures that will not only benefit cats, but also society as a whole.”
Another priority for the charity, she said, is to end snaring, an inhumane practice that “should play no part in a modern, caring nation“. She also said the charity is asking “the positive effect pet cats have on health and well-being of vulnerable people is fully recognised” when new laws on personal care come into force.
“We are also suggesting the future Government gives proper recognition to the needs of people with cats or other companion animals in rented housing and care homes to allow people to keep their pets. For an owner to give up their cat when they move into rented housing or a care home is a tragedy for the cat and its owner.”
Respondents have until the autumn to view and contribute to the Cats Protection’s manifesto proposals. Visit the manifesto’s website for more information.