The House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament which checks draft legislation from the politicians who run the country and debates new legislation themselves, are currently involved in debating new laws to deal with the oversupply of cats and dogs in Britain. Like many other countries, there are more cats and dogs than homes for them. Although, I confess to never seeing the effects of this.
The debate was instigated by Lord Black and he says:
“The biggest issue that we have, and all the charities face, is that supply outstrips demand. There are far more strays than there are families to take them,”
He is referring mainly to unregulated and unethical breeding of kittens and puppies that are sold in pet shops and the uncontrolled trade in cats and dogs. There was a pet shop where I used to live and one of their cats was bought by an old lady I knew. The cat was not particularly healthy (see Cardie).
Lord Black says that the Animal Welfare Act 2006, excellent though it is, does not cover enough cover enough ground such as the regulation and licensing of catteries and kennels.
What is behind this debate is to try and tackle some of these loose ends that were never tackled or inadequately tackled and also to deal with modern ways of adopting cats and dogs, namely via the internet on social media websites. There is also the ever present problem of ensuring that cat caretakers neuter and spay their cats and act responsibly.
Conclusions? There appears to be a need to upgrade and extend legislation with respect to cats and dogs particularly in the area of breeding to ensure that there is no oversupply and needless euthanasia.
One of the commentators on Facebook, Pippa Mealings, makes a good point. I think she’s is an Australian living in Australia, where they have more extensive and restrictive legislation on cats and dogs.. She states that
“Australia is a cat hating society everything is ok with dogs but not cats.”
That is interesting because Lord Black says something similar:
“a lot more legislation and regulation that covers the welfare of dogs than there is of cats”.
This is a point that Ruth aka Kattaddorra consistently makes, that there needs to be a greater focus on cat welfare. There does still seem to be a bias in favour of dogs and that applies to America as well.
Cat and dog laws should not be too strict or restrictive. There is a need for regulation on cat breeding and possibly caretaking (neutering micrchipping) but as the Australian lady says you should not overdo it.
If its like Australia its actually very retrogressive – can’t feed strays, no outdoor cats, microchip AND collar ID and people reporting neighbors if their cat pokes its nose over the boundary fence, trapping of cats by the public e.g. if your cat goes next door they can legally do that. It’s not made any difference to cruelty or neglect or abandonment issues all its done is make things harder for responsible owners…
I don’t see a problem of over-legislation and heavy controls in the UK. Lord Black’s concerns are genuinely about cat welfare – he is a genuine cat lover – dealing with oversupply mainly through back street breeding and irresponsible ownership.
Source: FB and centrallobby.politicshome.com
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