Cat flaps could be banned in UK homes due to pet owners being 'laissez faire'

Pet owners are being warned cat flaps could be BANNED in the UK amid growing calls to outlaw the home additions. A former Tory minister and MP minister has demanded a ban on cat flaps to help protect the UK's dwindling population of garden birds.

Ex Conservative Party minister, Lord Blencathra, said there is "no justification whatsoever" for pet owners to have a "laissez-faire attitude" by allowing their pets to "go in and out when it pleases". He told the House of Lords: "All independent studies suggest that cats allowed out to wander at will kill about 260 million mammals per annum in the UK and 60 million garden birds.

"Of course there are other predators killing animals and birds, as the letters in the Telegraph this week have pointed out, but the contribution from roaming cats is massive and unnecessary. Studies by three UK scientists, and published in the journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science, show that in the UK cats with bells killed 34 per cent fewer mammals and 41 per cent fewer birds.

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"We need every measure we can to preserve our declining garden birds." The former minister went on and said: "So I would make collars and bells compulsory for cats let outside. But I would go further, my Lords, and I'd ban cat flaps completely."

He continued: "There's no justification whatsoever for cat owners taking a laissez-faire attitude and letting a cat go in and out when it pleases. Don't call yourself a cat lover if you have no idea where your cat goes at night, where it can be attacked, run over, catch fleas, diseases and kills precious wildlife."

Lord Douglas-Miller, the environment minister, affirmed: "The Government strongly supports this Bill. It represents another important step in our progress on animal welfare." Annabel Berdy, the Senior Advocacy and Government Relations Officer for Cats Protection, stated: "The Pet Abduction Bill will give pets the full recognition they deserve and help stamp out the horrific trade in stolen pets which causes so much misery to owners and animals."