The Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has recommended that Defra extends the law on dangerous dogs to cover dog attacks that injure a protected animal and this could include cats.
Cats Protection welcomes this recommendation and is pleased that the issue was raised in the House of Commons debate. Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s advocacy manager said: “We hope that Defra and the Home Office will review this issue and take the opportunity to give cats more effective protection from dog attacks under proposed criminal law covering dangerous dogs and anti-social behaviour.”
“On average there is one reported fatal dog attack on a cat every week in England alone and tragically the current law does not provide adequate protection from such attacks. Every incidence of a serious, often fatal, attack on a cat is a tragedy for the cat and its owner and something that should be regarded as a criminal offence within the proposed legislation that will be presented to Parliament for approval.”
Since the EFRA enquiry the Government has announced that measures to tackle dangerous dogs will be part of the new joint Home Office/Defra Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill. Cats Protection is now waiting to hear whether Defra and the Home Office will take up EFRA’s recommendation and ensure that this new Bill extends to attacks on protected animals.