Cat Welfare

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:18 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip 4:18 pm, 11th December 2018

I join my hon. Friend in congratulating his constituent on her work in Framlingham and thanking her for it. If he will provide details, I will not only put my thanks to her on the record, but I will write to her, too, given that it has been her life’s work. I appreciate the contribution that my hon. Friend has made in putting that before us.

There are so many good causes and good welfare groups that take the cause further forward, whether that is Cats Protection, the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or Blue Cross. They are absolutely committed to the welfare of cats and various other animals. Through their dedicated volunteers, they ensure that in many cases cats that have been lost can be reunited with their owners. They also rehome cats.

Before I get on to the substantive point of the debate, my right hon. Friend Sir Greg Knight raised an important point about air weapons. I know his interest in these matters and I recognise, along with many others, the widespread concern about the shooting of cats with air weapons. Anyone who does that is liable to prosecution for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. The maximum sentence is currently six months in prison, but that could be extended with new legislation that we are looking to put to the House in due course. A review of air weapons regulation was announced in October 2017. We are now considering what needs to happen with the licensing system and will announce the outcome shortly. That will help address some of his concerns.