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Parliamentary launch of UK's first feline manifesto

15 January 2015
Parliamentary launch of UK 15 January 2015

The UK's largest cat charity will launch the nation's first 'Manifesto for Cats' at a parliamentary event ahead of the General Election.

Cats Protection will unveil its 10-point document at a reception hosted by Neil Parish MP, Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, and supported by Petplan, at the House of Commons on 10 February 2015.

The manifesto, compiled following a three-month consultation with members of the public, will outline measures to protect the UK's favourite pet from abandonment, harm and neglect.

It will include a “wish list” of policies such as controlling the irresponsible breeding and sale of cats, banning snares, tighter regulations on the licensing of air guns and the inclusion of animal welfare in the National Curriculum.

Over 93 per cent of those surveyed by Cats Protection agreed with all 10 manifesto proposals it consulted on and the charity hopes the document will help shape the future of animal welfare legislation.

The finalised manifesto will be presented to MPs and invited guests at the reception on 10 February and will be available online.

The charity will also be releasing a new video on YouTube in which cat lovers will call on politicians to take action to improve feline welfare in the UK.

Cats Protection is the UK's largest cat charity and helps over 194,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.

As well as rehoming unwanted and abandoned cats, the charity also promotes neutering, provides cat care advice and delivers talks about cat care to thousands of schoolchildren and community groups every year.

Cats Protection's Advocacy Manager Jacqui Cuff said: “Over the past few years, we have been contacted about a worrying number of issues that our supporters and the general public want us to raise with Government.

"Cats Protection is pleased to be working with Government and to be presenting our first ever Manifesto for Cats. Delivery of the manifesto would improve the lives of thousands of cats and prevent them from harm.

“On a daily basis we hear and witness instances where cats suffer unimaginable pain and suffering – from being the unintended victim of a snare, being peppered with shots from airguns or trying to survive without food or shelter as an unwanted and abandoned stray on the streets.

“As part of a caring society, it is our duty to speak up for cats. Policies need to change and politicians can make that happen. As we approach the 2015 General Election we are calling on existing and prospective MPs to get behind our Manifesto for Cats to ensure that one of the nation's best loved pets is fully protected by policies and the law.”

She added that the manifesto points raised by the charity would benefit the nation's estimated 10.5 million pet cats.

Neil Parish MP said: “As a cat owner myself I am delighted to host the launch of the first ever ‘Manifesto for Cats’. There are areas of feline welfare where more work should be done to tackle cat abandonment. I look forward to submitting this Manifesto to the Secretary of State”.

Ingrid Wakefield, Head of Marketing at Petplan, the UK's most trusted pet insurer, said: “We are proud to make a difference by supporting the fantastic work of charities like Cats Protection which play an invaluable role in ensuring the welfare of cats in the UK. Petplan isn’t only about providing pet insurance as we work with over 1,200 animal charities, contributing more than £2.5 million every year to help them continually rescue and rehome animals in need.”

More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk