New All-Party Parliamentary Group puts cat welfare on the political agenda
14 March 2018
Cats are the topic of the day in Westminster following the launch of the first All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) dedicated to improving feline welfare.
The first meeting of the new group took place at Westminster on Tuesday 6 March. The group is made up of MPs and Peers with the support of two of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities - Cats Protection and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The APPG on Cats (APGOCATS) will discuss feline welfare and how to tackle key cat issues both in parliament and in society more widely. The group will be looking to propose solutions to a range of problems facing cats, such as toxins contained in antifreeze and laws on air guns, as well as highlighting the benefits of owning a cat to combat loneliness.
Maria Caulfield MP, (pictured above) who was elected Chair at the meeting, said: “As a cat owner myself, I’m very pleased to have been elected Chair of a group which recognises the important role cats play in many people’s lives, and which will work to better protect the needs of both cats and their owners.
“Cats are wonderful animals and provide much love, support and companionship to a wide range of people, from young families to elderly people living on their own.”
Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said: “Cats are one of the nation’s most popular pets, and their welfare is of huge importance to millions of owners. Yet despite their popularity, cats all too often suffer from a lack of specific legislation to protect them. Where legislation does exist, there are often enforcement and prosecution issues, which need to be addressed.
“Cats Protection’s ten-point Manifesto for Cats, launched ahead of the 2015 election, has received great cross-party support from politicians, yet there is still much to be done to ensure cats are protected. It’s entirely right cats are now going to have their own group in parliament to put a spotlight on feline welfare issues. We’re excited to work with this group as it strives to improve the lives of cats in the UK, something which will also be greatly welcomed by millions of animal lovers.”
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Michael Webb, said: “As one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities, we’re ready to start work with politicians and other charities to raise the profile of issues affecting cats, who are loved in their millions across the country.
“We know from our work with MPs, including the Battersea’s annual Purr Minister competition, that there is a real passion for cats in Parliament. We therefore fully support the creation of APGOCATS which will be dedicated to tackling matters affecting feline welfare.”
For more information or a photo, please contact Michaela at Adastra Media by replying to this email or call 07740 305918.
Notes to Editors:
About Cats Protection:
1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, helping around 190,000 cats a year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
About Battersea Dogs & Cats Home:
Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.
Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
In 2016 the Home cared for over 7,000 dogs and cats.
Battersea cares for an average of 270 dogs and 200 cats across its three centres at any one time.
There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 35 days and 22 days for a cat.
For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit www.battersea.org.uk.
Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or facebook.com/Battersea