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30th September 2021

National feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, believes the Government needs to implement solutions now to protect pets, including cats and kittens

Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services Dr Maggie Roberts BVM&S MRCVS said: “Cats Protection welcomes this important report from the EFRA committee which urges the Government to act quickly to protect pets, including cats and kittens, which are being moved in and out of the UK.

“We are fully supportive of the measures recommended in the report, including a ban on importing pets younger than six months old and heavily pregnant pets. We are very pleased to see a recommendation to ban the importing of pets which have been subject to poor welfare practices, such as the cruel and unnecessary de-clawing of cats.

“We also welcome the remarks made by Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Select Committee. We agree that the Government needs to implement solutions now to protect pets, including cats and kittens. Long delays on bringing in these recommendations will only lead to more suffering for pets being transported into the UK. With demand for cats and kittens on the rise following the pandemic, it is essential the Government react quickly to stamp out pet smugglers intent on putting profit before welfare.

“Prior to the publishing of this report, the Government launched a consultation on amendments to pet travel, following the UK’s departure from the EU, which is open until 16 October. Cats Protection is very disappointed that this Government consultation does not consider extending proposals to prevent puppy smuggling to kittens, or to ensure the welfare of young or pregnant cats brought into the UK. As it stands, the proposals risk encouraging a trade in kittens under six-months-old from abroad, particularly the more sought-after pedigree cat breeds. We are now urging the Government to follow the recommendations made in this EFRA report and ensure the welfare of all pets brought into the UK, including cats, is protected.”

Cat lovers can learn more about the charity’s campaign to prevent kitten smuggling and take part in the Government consultation by visiting: The consultation closes on 16 October.


Notes to editors

  1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline charity, founded in 1927 as the Cats Protection League.
  2. Cats Protection is a national network of around 230 volunteer-run branches and 37 centres, helping around 200,000 cats and kittens every year.
  3. Registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
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