Sick and Underage Kittens

As an animal lover and owner of two cats myself, I fully support animal, and especially, cat welfare.

Ministers are serious about improving welfare in breeding establishments and at the point of sale, so are reviewing the laws that regulate dog breeding and pet sales, including those of cats.

One proposal would apply specific welfare conditions to pet vendors, which they must meet to obtain a licence. These include a requirement that animals are not sold too young: for mammals this is before they are or should have been weaned, which for cats is likely to be at or below eight weeks. Another would remove the licence exemption for those in the business of selling kittens bred from the family's pet pedigree cat.

It is important to note that all captive animals are protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This makes it a serious criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal, or fail to provide for its welfare. The Government has also published a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats which, if breached, can be used to supply evidence supporting a prosecution.

If you are aware of any such cases in South Cambs please do report your concerns to the local authority or the police, which have the power to take action to safeguard their welfare.

With this in mind, if you are able to respond with specific evidence and statistics such that I can write to the responsible Minister, I would be more than happy to do so.