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Cat Charity Upset at Plans to Shoot Feral Cats

28 April 2016

SCOTLAND, UK - Documents from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (one of 20 partners in Scottish Wildcat Action) have revealed that feral domestic cats in Scotland will be shot if caught in traps.

“Under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, feral cats are regarded as ‘protected animals’ and it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to them. As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity we are obviously opposed to the destruction of feral cats and would always advocate a humane trap, neuter and return approach to this issue,” said Dominic Sullivan, Cats Protection’s Director of Legal Services.

“For this reason we declined to be part of the Scottish Wildlife Conservation Action Group (SWCAG), which was established by Scottish National Heritage, and again when the group published its ‘Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan’. While the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is at pains in the application to explain that feral cats will be ‘dispatched’ without causing unnecessary suffering, ultimately it would be for the courts to decide whether or not any suffering was unnecessary in the circumstances of each case.

“A further concern for us is the risk that family pets may be mistaken for feral cats and ‘dispatched’, causing obvious distress to the owners and the possibility of an offence of criminal damage under Scottish law.”

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