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8th May 2021

Cats Protection is part of a coalition of 50 animal welfare charities urging the Government not to waste a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to redefine our relationship with animals through a new animal health and welfare strategy.

The group has released a new vision for animal welfare “Act Now For Animals” - setting out the sector’s priorities.

The paper sets out 40 recommendations - including a number of important measures to improve cat welfare, such as compulsory microchipping of pet cats, the introduction of regulation of cat breeding, and raising the age of imported kittens.

Cats Protection's Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said:

"Cats Protection is delighted to be a part of this ground-breaking strategy which sets out a vision for the UK to become world leaders in the very highest standards of animal welfare.

Across the UK, 10.2 million pet cats provide millions of people with a unique form of companionship, joy and comfort, and this strategy gives us the opportunity to ensure they are better protected in law.

In particular, we're pleased to be further highlighting the need for compulsory microchipping of pet cats. With 26% of all pet cats (2.6 million) still not microchipped, we desperately need a new law to ensure all pet cats can be reunited with their owner if they become lost, stolen or injured."

 Recommendations relevant to cat welfare include

  • compulsory pet cat microchipping, and a centralised database for microchipped dogs and cats and to give guidance to councils to ensure that dogs and cats found dead at the roadside are always scanned for a microchip
  • tackling the import of sick and underage puppies and kittens by raising the minimum age for importing them to six months (from 15 weeks), increasing penalties for illegal importation, reintroducing rabies tests and wait periods and tick and tapeworm treatment for both dogs and cats before entry into the UK
  • legislation to introduce a licensing and inspection framework for Sanctuaries and Rescue Centres
  • calling for the Government’s task force on pet theft to deliver its conclusions and next steps before Parliament breaks for summer recess 2021
  • the Government to bring forward the necessary legislation to ban the use and sale of electronic training devices, sonic and spray collars in England
  • a consultation on regulating cat breeding, to include a licensed breeder inspection regime, limitations on age and litter limits per cat and ending the commercial breeding of extreme breeds of both dogs and cats
  • reviewing existing fireworks legislation and its impact on animal welfare, with a view to introducing further restrictions on their use and sale. Public displays should be licensed by the relevant council

The full report and recommendations can be read below

Read the full report
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