Cats Protection to launch general election 'manifesto for cats' at House of Commons

At a parliamentary reception on 10 February, the charity will unveil the document outlining measures to protect pet felines from abandonment and neglect

Cats: manifesto to be launched
Cats: manifesto to be launched

Cats Protection will launch its general election "manifesto for cats" at a House of Commons event next month.

The cat charity will unveil its 10-point document at a parliamentary reception on 10 February hosted by Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, with attendees expected to include the animal welfare minister Lord de Mauley, his Labour shadow Angela Smith and more than 30 MPs.

The manifesto, compiled after a three-month public consultation, will outline measures to protect pet cats from abandonment, harm and neglect and includes a call for the prosecution of owners whose dogs kill cats.

The charity approached Parish – who is chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and was already known to the charity – to host the event because House of Commons events must be sponsored by an MP, according to Jacqui Cuff, advocacy manager at Cats Protection.

Asked how the charity got the support of Lord de Mauley, Cuff said it had already worked with his department on issues such as dog attacks on cats and the online advertising of cats.

"Many MPs are cat owners and are concerned about animal welfare, and we’re delighted that so many have accepted the invitation to our manifesto launch event," she said. "A YouGov poll last year found that 14 per cent of voters considered animal welfare to be an important issue in deciding who they would vote for, so it’s possible that MPs’ support for the manifesto could play a part in people’s voting decisions, although obviously many other factors will come into play."

The finalised manifesto will be presented at the reception and made available online. It will include a "wishlist" 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.

The charity, which had an income of £44m in 2013, 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.

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