New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

To come into force in October next year apparently. Info below

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Whilst the Code does not technically have the force of law it can influence a court when considering prosecutions under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which carry penalties of up to six (6) months imprisonment and/or fines up to £20,000. Notable obligations on cat owners will include

* ensuring your cat has places to climb
* controlling their diet so they are neither too fat nor too thin
* having at least one litter tray per cat in different parts of the house
* supplying a suitable scratching post and toys
* playing with your cat, and
* providing identification such as a micro-chip or a particular type of collar.

“The Code is not patronising at all,” said Zeta Frasca, veterinarian and owner of Kitten to Cat, London’s only cat only veterinary clinic in Richmond-Upon Thames, “best practice for cat welfare, such as the importance of play time and the number and location of litter trays is not intuitive and the Code educates us on the effect these things have on cats’ stress levels and the types of problems you can expect if you get it wrong.”

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Interesting. This code will effectively make it illegal to not play with your cat, for example, which begs the question of how will they police this Code of Practice. Do spot checks on cat owners? Ask the cat?

I have mixed feelings. I do see how it will provide clear guidelines but I definately think its patronising to the majority of cat owners. Looking after a cat is hardly difficult and, in my experience, most people new to cat ownership will do their research. Its why I joined this forum - I came here specifically to learn about looking after cats. I'll be interested in other viewpoints and comments
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:36 PM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Animal Cruelty is like any other obscenity - you know it when you see it.

The main purpose of the codes is to provide practical guidance on pet owners' responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act. If a person fails to comply with a code of practice they will not be liable to proceedings of any kind, but failure to comply with several provisions may be used in evidence to support a prosecution for animal cruelty.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthn ... -pets.html

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR PET OWNERS - aka - more British Pet Insanity
Thou shalt groom your long-haired cats and dogs once a day
Thou shalt “cat proof” your windows and balconies to prevent your pet falling out
Thou shalt not walk your dog during the hottest part of the day
Thou shalt give each cat its own litter tray – even if your animals prefer to go outside.
Thou shalt use a plastic bag or “pooper scooper” to dispose of any dog faeces on your own property, no matter what the size of your garden, field or even farm.
Thou shalt not feed your dog from the table
Thou shalt not have a vegetarian cat. All cats must eat meat
Thou shalt play with your cat with toys if it refuses to go outdoors to hunt.
Thou shalt not use your hands or feet when playing with your cat as this may encourage aggressive behaviour
Thou shalt change your dog’s toys regularly to avoid it becoming bored
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:40 PM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Cats around the world have long awaited this kind of Code of Conduct for their humans.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:46 PM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

I think Bob Barker has it just right.
There is only one important pet rule;
spay and neuter your pets - period.
the rest will take care of itself once
pet over population is under control.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Quote:
Originally Posted by petspy
The main purpose of the codes is to provide practical guidance on pet owners' responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act. If a person fails to comply with a code of practice they will not be liable to proceedings of any kind, but failure to comply with several provisions may be used in evidence to support a prosecution for animal cruelty.
Yeah, thats how I understood it. Which is a relief of sorts at least.

I do find it patronising though and I'm sure it will put some people off adopting a pet as some will be fearful of 'breaking the code' unwittingly.

In theory, I have broken the code. My cat is fat. And yet, I know very well I am a responsible and caring cat owner.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:54 PM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

That's why such rules worry me - even if they are not enforceable on their own.
Anything that will reduce the chance a dog or cat will be adopted
will only increase the chance it will ultimately be destroyed.

I'd much rather 2 cats "suffer" with the the "cruelty" of one litter box
then see them destroyed because a prospective cat adopter could not
adhere to such an arbitrary rule.

This is also why I believe De-clawing should not be criminalized.
like they tried to do in California, USA - a few years ago.
Educate and Strongly Discourage it - yes, but against the law - no.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:42 PM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Whoa, there's a huge difference between a set number of litter boxes and mutilating a cat's paws. One is for the benefit of the cat, the other is for the benefit of the owner and is distinctly detrimental to the welfare of the cat.

As for the rest of the "Code", although most of it appears benign and seems to benefit the animals, that's a rather slippery slope to some serious "big brother getting in one's business". I especially don't like the forced micro-chipping, as there's been some indication it can harm the cat. Not to mention (at least, here in the States), there's no guarantee that whatever agency finds your cat, should it get loose, will be using the service that'll actually read whichever chip is implanted.

In the sense that important information is distributed much better than here, though, it's a very good thing.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 03:56 AM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Holy cow! That is too strict and cannot be fairly enforced. There are times I would be in violation of the litter box rule. We have 7 litter boxes in my house. Sometimes those 7 boxes are for 3 cats and sometimes there have been as many as 9 cats if I am fostering a litter of kittens. Take me to jail I guess. I haven't had a problem yet though.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 09:18 AM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

Microchips don't harm cats Auntie.

ALL animals that the Blue Cross deal with get a chip. I know there is a problem with some US chips not being universal, but that's no excuse not to properly ID your cat. Plus it DOES say you can use a collar.

The rest are a bit weird though. I sometimes go a couple of days without actively playing with Peggy. This doesn't make me a bad owner.

I don't know what it means by suitable places to climb though. Are stairs included? What about tables etc?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 10:58 AM
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Re: New Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats (UK)

I just keep shaking my head over humans' treatment of animals. On one hand, cats and dogs are family members who get spoiled and even legislation about making sure they're treated well; on the other, we freely kill other animals for sport and food. (I don't, but people do.) Isn't it hugely hypocritical to decide which animals we should treat how, depending on what good they do us?


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