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Cat Chat
By Chris Stalker V.N.

Fur victory
As a result of PETA’s behind-the-scenes pressure and eye-opening anti-fur investigations that have struck a chord with ethical consumers, Ralph Lauren joins an ever-increasing number of retailers that are turning their backs on fur. With your help, in the last year alone, PETA has made significant progress in the fight for animals who are slaughtered for their fur - including getting other major companies like J.Crew, Ann Taylor, and The Limited (including all the company’s brands, such as Victoria’s Secret) to pull fur from their stores forever! See PETA’s site at http://www.furisdead.com/


Pets insured by the self-employed
According to a story in the Manchester Evening News, self-employed people are more likely to insure their pets than they are their own incomes. Only one in five self-employed people have accident insurance, while just eight per cent have income replacement cover in case they are unable to work. But nearly a quarter have taken out pet insurance. The lack of income protection is despite the fact that the average self-employed worker has monthly commitments totalling £1,166 and 30 per cent have no savings, according to Combined Insurance.

5,000 pets are stolen each week
The Wigan Times recently reported that dogs in Wigan are being targeted by thieves. The RSPCA officers warn people that the animals – particularly pedigree breeds – are being stolen for a variety of unsavoury reasons and urge owners to get their pets microchipped. Wigan RSPCA officer Cathy Hyde said: “This is on the increase and there have certainly been cases in the borough.”

Lucky escape for kittens
The Leigh Reporter recently reported that four young kittens were found callously abandoned by the edge of the Bridgewater Canal in Astley. The five-week-old kittens are being treated at Tyldesley Veterinary Surgery before they are fit enough to be re-homed. RSPCA Inspector Cathy Hyde, who took them into care after they were found in a cardboard box, said: “They were lucky to be found in time as the box was very close to the water’s edge. If one of them had tipped the box over, they would have found themselves in the canal. We don’t know how long they were left there but luckily a young boy found them and took them home to his parents, who alerted us. They’ve since had a health check and were only found to have fleas – they weren’t suffering from malnutrition or dehydrated, thankfully. Although they are still quite young, they are at an age when they can just about look after themselves.
“What I can’t understand is why anyone would look after them until this age and then suddenly decide to abandon them. I would like to appeal to those with information to contact us at the RSPCA. “
The kittens will stay under observation at the surgery until a foster care home is found for them.

Big Brother plays cat and mouse
I was dismayed to see a story on the ITV online news desk that there is a “Cat Big Brother Competition” in America - the brainchild of a cat food company in New York. The makers of the show have hired a Manhattan shop front to house the mock-up cat apartment. The cats will be competing for the public vote, just like in the real Big Brother. And they’ll take part in tasks like mouse-catching and a competition to see who has the loudest purr.
I wonder who these cats belong to and what will happen to them after the programme ends?

Animals Worldwide
Have you been on holiday and had a horrid time? Have some of the sights you’ve seen made you vow never to return? You probably know the scenario: hordes of sickly animals imploring for food; a dog almost throttled, chained up without water, or searching for an owner who has abandoned it and will never return; the drawn-out agonising death of a poisoned cat; the donkey hidden beneath an impossibly heavy load.

The question has to be asked: Do you really want to spend your hard-earned cash in an area where strays/feral animals are treated like vermin? Where so-called working animals are neglected and abused? Experiences like these can literally ruin a holiday.

It is clear from the reports of tourists returning to the UK from overseas destinations that there is a very keen interest in animal welfare and related issues. One example: Lynda rescued a starving bitch and two puppies she found in a horrendous situation while holidaying in Crete. This story has a happy ending: with the aid of a group of British and German animal lovers living in Crete, she was able to find them new homes in Germany. So many animals suffer in silence or die.

Lynda said: “I firmly believe that holidaymakers hold a golden key. They can physically help by reporting cases plus, critically, their tourist Pounds can wield a big stick over tourist destination governments.” So horrified was Lynda that she launched a campaign to raise awareness of animal cruelty called ‘Don’t Look Away’. “I thought it was apt as I was told by so many people that I should have just looked away!”

Lynda is just one of the many tourists returning to the UK with reports of horrendous maltreatment of animals. She was one person who did make a difference and says: “We all can make a difference; the animals are helpless – we are not.”

It was this concept which prompted Suzy Gale – with the support of a number of prestigious UK-based animal welfare organisations - to create Animals Worldwide. Suzy works tirelessly to try to improve animal welfare and headed a feral cat neuter project, CROSSCATS, in Cyprus for several years.

She says: “Animals Worldwide has been established to assist in the worldwide endeavour to bring such cruelty to animals to an end. It seeks to build relationships with the tourist industry in order to harness the eyes, ears and energies of the holidaymaking and travelling public to identify both good and bad practice.

With the co-operation of the tourist industry, Animals Worldwide would like, when appropriate, to offer welfare friendly grading for resorts and hotels. We want caring tourists to enjoy their holidays and to see strays, ferals and working animals receive the care and respect they deserve.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Pulling (Press Officer) – 07891117886



www.animalsworldwide.org

Any more news?
This edition of Cat Chat contains articles that I have found or been sent, from various sources, but where are all the OUR CATS readers? Is everyone on holiday? Please keep your news, views, tips, jokes and anything catty to this address!