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From the News Desk

Well, that’s Easter over and done with. Hope you didn’t get tummy ache from all those Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns.

Of course, there’s a big debate now (usually in certain ‘Middle England’ tabloids) as to whether Easter, as a Christian festival, is being undermined by the PC-brigade. Well, I don’t want to get into that here (don’t get me started!), but certainly Good Friday doesn’t seem to be the solemn, stay-at-home day I remember as a youngster.

However, Good Friday this year had something a bit noteworthy about it, namely the enactment into law of the Animal Welfare Act. There are a few pieces about the Act going on the statute books in this issue, and I certainly don’t want to go over old ground and start up even more speculation about what might or might not happen under the Act. I’d just say let’s all keep vigilant and see if the Act does make any difference in England and Wales.

The equivalent Act for Scotland – the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act - comes into force on April 30th and, as far as cats are concerned, is broadly the same as the Westminster Act. Don’t forget though, if you have any news relating to any of the Acts, particularly how it affects cat owners, please drop us a line here at OUR CATS.

The other ‘hot topic’ right now is DEFRA’s review of the UK’s quarantine laws. It’s hard to remember now how restrictive quarantine used to be, but it was just over seven years ago that the PETS Travel Scheme came into being and Pet Passports have become common currency, allowing cats and dogs to travel with their owners or be imported to the UK without too much hassle. A six-month quarantine period has, however, been retained for animals entering the UK from countries outside the EU and USA, although DEFRA’s Chief Vet and Chief Scientific Advisor have both recommended that quarantine be reduced to three months, as rabies, they say, is now a far lesser threat than it was.

But is this a good thing? I urge you to read David Johnson’s major article on Quarantine and Rabies in this issue… and then read it again. It’s not all just about rabies! The article is written in David’s inimitable style and, as usual, he doesn’t pull any punches. So if you vehemently disagree with what he says, or whether you think a reduction in the quarantine period is a good thing, please don’t keep it to yourself – write to us and TELL US what you think!

If OUR CATS gets enough feedback, we could approach DEFRA with your comments and see what they say. Let’s be clear – quarantine IS a serious subject. We all like to import top quality cats from overseas and it might be nice to travel with your pets, but should the price be the UK’s disease-free status?

Right – May Day’s the next Bank Holiday… anyone fancy a dance round the Maypole?

Nick Mays
News & Features Editor

Due to the high volume of email reports coming in from judges, it may soon be possible to return our shows reports into a single section.

They are currently split into two sections, as we still have to deal with a number of handwritten or faxed reports, which clearly can take longer to publish.

We would encourage as many judges as possible to submit their reports by email to facilitate a fast turnaround and better service from OUR CATS.

Thank you for your continued support.

Our Cats MD Vince Hogan will be manning the stand at the Manchester & District Cat Club Show on Saturday, 5th May 2007, at the George H. Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, Urmston, Manchester M41 7FJ.

If you’re attending the show, come along to the stand where you can sign up for a subscription, buy a goodie bag or check out our range of books.

Issues of Our Cats will be available to buy, as will copies of the 2007 Annual.

Robert Fox (Photographer)
OUR CATS and Hills Official Photographer at GCCF Shows, also Official Photographer of Champion & Grand Champion Winners at shows for Royal Canin, will be attending the following:

07/04/07 - KERNOW CAT CLUB, Paignton, Devon

Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Wolverhampton, W. Midlands

Telephone 01323 484282 - www.photopaws.co.uk