Saturday 2 October 2021

Emily Brown from Hayle, UK, has never seen so many cats killed by motorists

NEWS AND VIEWS - HAYLE, UK: Emily Brown is giving up on the human race. She has never seen so many cats killed on the roads in her seaside town. She is complaining about the motorists on the website of the newspaper Cornwall Live. And she is right to complain. She says the town is plagued by hit-and-run drivers killing people's companion cats. 

Emily Brown
Emily Brown. Photo provided by her.

They don't stop, she says. She was taught to treat others properly and decently and can't understand why drivers just carry on. A 20 mph speed limit is in operation in her town, as I understand it. But this doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of killing pets on the road.

Tourist town

It seems that the problem was caused, or certainly exacerbated, by a huge influx of tourists when the doors unlocked when the pandemic eased back and the government allowed freedom of movement. Emily Brown said:

"The world has gone mad with cars everywhere. The traffic has been bad anyway because of summer and all the tourists. I think we need a 20 is Plenty campaign here in Hayle."

She is concerned that one day a child will be hit and there have been some near misses. In the photograph she is standing on Trevassack Hill where an incident occurred. And she has regularly read about cats being killed on the road on Queensway which is a new estate near the Copper House public house.

Cats and kittens run over on the road are left where they died and she said that she is forced to deal with them. Recently she called one of her friends to help move a cat because she didn't want children to see the dead animal on the road. She has seen posts about missing cats in Hayle weekly and sometimes daily.

She also said:

"It makes me feel like I'm losing faith in humankind".

I completely understand that. She believes that at least drivers could do something and pick up the animals and try to find the owner or take the cat to a veterinarian to let them scan a microchip to find the owner. She has contacted the local police and local authority about providing road signage to tell people to slow down. Clearly drivers are not adhering to the 20 mph speed limit. I can understand that as well I'm afraid. The 20 mph speed limit is too slow for many people. They regularly break it.

It seems that the local authority will not put up new signage because of the cost. She said: "It's all to do with money, but that shouldn't be an excuse."

The other side of the coin

The other side of the coin needs to be mentioned: cat owners allowing their pets to roam freely over dangerous roads. If cat owners live near active roads they should keep their cat inside. Although the idea of full-time indoor cats is catching on in the UK there is resistance to it. The default is to let cats go outside unsupervised. There are two sides to this problem. We can't put all the blame on car drivers. Cat owners have a responsibility to keep their cats safe.

UK: surge in puppy and kitten adoptions causes delay in booster vaccinations

News media reports that in the UK there is a national shortage of animal vaccines. Cats and dogs are being turned away from the usual inoculations. Some animals are being prioritised while others are having their appointments put back.

Cat Vaccination. Photo: The Answer Vet
Cat Vaccination. Photo: The Answer Vet

In one instance there has been a delay of several months before they can inoculate. Vets are prioritising kittens and puppies, companion animals most at risk of falling ill. It is the booster jabs which are being put off.

It appears that the shortages are affecting all companies providing vaccinations across the UK. And it affects both cat and dog vaccines.

ASSOCIATED: What vaccinations does my cat need in the UK?

An issue which has been raised is that some insurance policies specify that it is only valid if vaccinations have been administered. What happens if an animal falls ill because the booster was delayed by several months? Can the owner still make a claim under the policy? Petplan say that policies will not be invalidated and they want to reassure their customers. 

The problem of a short supply of vaccinations has been compounded by the rapid increase in the numbers of cat and dog owners in the UK, by 3.2 million during the pandemic.

ASSOCIATED: Unbelievable: UK households buy 3.2 million animals in lockdown

And the problem has been further compounded by a shortage of veterinarians in the UK due apparently to Brexit. Many European veterinarians left the UK following Brexit. Comment: certainly, I noticed what I believed was a large number of young continental European veterinarians in the UK at one time. It seems that large veterinary groups (which is the modern business model) hired newly qualified continental veterinarians which they could pay less.

Britain has for a long time relied upon relatively cheap labour from abroad to cover up poor productivity and efficiency. The time has come to change that and the flaws are being exposed by Brexit.

It is not clear if this is a reduction in supply of vaccines or an increase in demand for vaccines because of the increase in the number of cats and dogs. It looks like the latter: a failure of vaccine manufacturers to produce more to keep pace with the surge in new puppies and kittens. That's my interpretation of the report.

Source: i News.

Friday 1 October 2021

Obstructive behaviour by Warrington Animal Welfare (WAW) rescue centre causes an injustice against cat's owner

WARRINGTON, UK-NEWS AND VIEWS: This is one of those typical and rather complex stories which we see from time to time on the Internet. It's a sad story of a tussle over cat ownership and in the middle is a rescue centre.

What happened is that a ginger tabby cat called Bobby escaped his home. Warrington Animal Welfare (WAW) found him. They uploaded his photograph with some details onto their Facebook website. Patricia Donegan, Bobby's owner, saw the Facebook post and contacted the animal shelter immediately. In the meantime the animal shelter had renamed her cat George. Patricia believes that she provided WAW with adequate proof that she was Bobby's owner.  

Bobby. Images: Facebook.

The shelter refused to return Bobby to her because he wasn't microchipped or neutered. Apparently they branded her as irresponsible. It seems that they got off on the wrong foot at the very beginning WAW has been obstructive ever since. WAW appears to have taken a prejudicial stance against Patricia for some reason. They have dug themselves in and are defensive and unhelpful. The more Patricia pesters them the more they dig in.

It seems Patricia took the matter to the County Court for the return of Bobby and the judge advised that they try and reach a resolution. The problem is that Patricia took Warrington Animal Rescue to court and not the new owner. She had to because at the time she did not have the new owner's details.

WAW offered £100 to settle the matter which Patricia rightly refused because all she wants is her cat back. The centre had rehomed Bobby with a new 'owner' and Patricia had found out the name and address of the new owner from unredacted court documents. A lucky break.

In my opinion, she could sue the new owner for an injunction for the return of Bobby or a declaration that she is the true owner. The new owner says that Bobby escaped from her possession when she decided to take Bobby back to WAW. However, her story sounds fanciful and she has changed it twice apparently. Patricia does not believe her. I believe that Bobby is still with the new owner and a full-time indoor cat.

Patricia also believes that Bobby has not been lost and that the new owner is lying. Warrington Animal Rescue say that they raised £1000 for the care and treatment of Bobby but it transpired that only £90 of the thousand pounds raised was spent on veterinary treatment. Although it appears that the rescue implied that they had spent the £1000. 

My FB message to Patricia
My FB message to Patricia.

I have messaged Patricia with my thoughts for what they are worth. She is the legal owner in my book. As far as I am concerned WAW have misbehaved and in doing so has caused an injustice against the true and original owner.

Source: and Patricia.

Long domestic cat fur mainly exists because people like it

Long fur on domestic cats is non-functional. They don't need it. The longhaired cats and cat breeds would be better off with short fur if functionality was the sole reason for their anatomy. Long fur needs human intervention to keep it in good condition, to prevent it becoming matted. Matted fur leads to infections and infestations of the skin. Domestic cats often can't maintain their own coat if the fur is too long. The decorative Persian comes to mind. There have been some horror stories of matted Persians over the years. Note: this is a cross-post because it is an interesting topic.

Shorthaired cats in a colony in a warm place
Shorthaired cats in a colony in a warm place. Photo: Pixabay.

The Maine Coon has a medium-longhaired coat because they were barn cats living outside. The coats served a purpose. When a wild cat species has a long coat it is for a reason: they live in cold places. I am thinking of Pallas's cat and the snow leopard for instance. That's natural selection.

The very long fur on Persians is due to artificial selection (selective breeding). Human intervention is the main reason why domestic cats have long coats. It is about human preferences. Many people like domestic cats with long coats. This sustains them when under different circumstances they'd fade away and stop existing especially in warm countries such as in South America where a study supported this concept.

They say you rarely see longhaired feral cats. It is true. You might see them from time to time if they are new to the feral cat scene and strays. But long term feral cats are nearly always shorthaired for functional reasons: they can maintain their coat themselves.

Malaysian Movement Control Order stressed people leading to increased cat abuse

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is probably expected as when people are stressed they tend to do silly things. Things that they wouldn't normally do. They lose their self-discipline, if they have any in the first place. And so it is reported that the problems and stresses of what Malaysia calls their Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented during the Covid crisis to put a brake on the spread of the disease has led to a rise in cases of cats being abused and abandoned.

Cat shelter Malaysia
Cat shelter Malaysia. Photo: New Straits Times.

The Malaysia Cat Club president Khalid Rashid said:

"Compared to the years before the MCO, the number of cats being rescued is higher since last year until September this year. In fact, some of the rescue cats were also abused, with some found with burns on their bodies as a result of being splashed with hot oil just for stealing food. We believe the increase in the number of cats being abandoned and abused during the MCO period was perhaps due to stress and other problems faced by some."

The Malaysia Animal Association (Persatuan Suara Haiwan Malaysia) was set up to help reduce animal cruelty. They have a animal police hotline and they want volunteers. It is not clear to me how it will work but they clearly feel there is a need to do something about reducing the number of animal abuse cases.

I am afraid the domestic and stray cat, wherever they are in the world, is a ready made target for animal abuse when it emerges. This is a case in point.

Source: New Straits Times

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