Friday 24 October 2008

Disappearing cats

There is a long running story of disappearing cats from Meriden Avenue in Wollaston, West Midlands, UK. Here's a map:

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Cats have been disappearing from this part of the Midlands for some time and it is causing distress for cat and human alike. I have a theory. If it was a person who simply wanted to kill cats (and there are such dysfunctional people), he/she wouldn't need to hide the cats. Killing cats, although a crime, is not taken seriously by the police. So the criminal doesn't have to be that careful.

The key is that the cats are disappearing and that the cats are domestic shorthair or longhair cats, meaning that they are not purebred cats. If they were purebred it could be argued that they were being stolen and sold as purebred cats in the UK are worth in the order of £500 each.

No, they simply disappear. In March I made a post about the cat fur trade in Switzerland. Domestic cats were being stolen from the streets of France to feed this trade. My preference as to the underlying cause is that someone local is stealing the cats to feed to fur trade. The police should question the local people who might be suspects - petty criminals etc. There should be some evidence in the home of the person doing it. The trouble the police in the UK are next to useless when it comes to what they consider to be minor crime.

In the UK a person convicted of stealing a cat and being instrumental in the cat's death would be punished under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The person could also be prosecuted under the Theft Act 1968 (as amended). Further he could be prosecuted for criminal damage although this is unlikely. I would have a thought a civil action by the cats' owners would not be viable.

The maximum penalty is a prison sentence no longer than 51 weeks and/or a fine of £20,000. A Scottish man was jailed for 4 months for drowning a cat under the equivalent Scottish law.

Disappearing cats

Disappearing cats to cats and the law

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