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Posted: 2018-03-08

Parliamentary group to improve feline welfare
Maria Caulfield MP, chair of the APPG on Cats.

Group to tackle key issues including toxins in antifreeze

The first-ever All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) dedicated to improving feline welfare has been launched in Westminster.

The APPG on Cats (APGOCATS) aims to put cat welfare on the political agenda by tackling key feline issues both in Parliament and wider society. Toxins in antifreeze, air guns and the benefits of cat ownership to combat loneliness are just some of the issues that will be under discussion.

The new group had its first meeting at Westminster on Tuesday (6 March). It 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.

Maria Caulfield MP, 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"

She added: "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.”

Image (C) Cats Protection.

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