Feline stressed?

WHAT is it about the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs?

A few weeks ago they were consulting on what types of plants we should be allowed to grow in our gardens. Apparently.

And now, they’ve issued a Code of Practice telling pet owners how to look after cats! If this had been written in one of the less reputable “libetarian” blogs, I would have easily dismissed it as nonsense. But apprently it’s true.

I don’t own any pets, but if I ever decided to buy a cat or a dog, it would be for my entertainment, not theirs. I certainly wouldn’t start consulting a moggie about what it wanted me to schedule on Sky+…

I consider myself an animal lover. I have very fond memories of my childhood pets, Ben the labrador and a white cat Who Shall Not Be Named. But there’s a distinction to be made between animal rights and animal welfare. I’m in favour of the latter, not the former.

There was recently a House of Commons free vote on whether or not the government should legislate to ban the docking of puppy dogs’ tails. I have rarely, if ever, been on the receiving end of so much lobbying by colleagues. In the end I got so fed up that I decided not to bother voting at all. As I told one indignant colleague, I had recently spoken in a debate on road safety, where barely more than a handful of colleagues bothered to turn up to debate how we can cut the annual holocaust of deaths – human deaths – on Britain’s roads.

“But how would you like it if someone cut off your little boy’s finger?” my colleague replied in defence of her argument supporting a ban on docking,

I was genuinely speechless. I just couldn’t get my head round the idea that an intelligent human being could equate the docking of a puppy’s tail to the mutilation of a child.

So I don’t, at the moment, intend to buy a cat. But if I ever change my mind, I will not be on the lookout for signs of feline stress. It can go and join a gym or go and get drunk like the rest of us.

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13 Comments

Filed under Government, Parliament

13 responses to “Feline stressed?

  1. Big Brother loves you Tom, don’t call him ridiculous. You will learn to love big brother too.

  2. Rapunzel

    There is no need for any feline to suffer stress if they just choose their staff carefully. In my establishment everyone knows their duties, including feeding routines, chair and sofa priority, opening and closing of doors on demand, including in the middle of the night. As to entertainment, I get all I need just watching my lot running around after me. Although I am looking forward to the American Election tonight. Heating on till late and extra fuss on the sofa. Maybe even some popcorn. Prrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    Tom Cat.

  3. I have to say that I agree with pretty much every word of that. I think that animals should be treated as humanely as possible, but they are, in the end of the day, animals, and humans have to take priority. Having said that, I have managed to raise a trainee animal rights activist. She even got a book on animal rights out of the library the other day. It questioned even the keeping of hamsters as pets, which made her think, given that she has a hamster she adores. I asked her how long she thought Powder Puff would survive out in the wild on her own and she seemed to take that point. I have to say that this hamster does seem to be a pretty happy little creature, happy to be handled, very well fed and watered and loved by all the family. It can’t really be that bad a life, can it?

  4. Andrew F

    Cones Hotline…

  5. Wes Mantooth

    You have to ask what the benefits are in having the highest acceptable drink driving limit in western Europe?

  6. ani

    There have been some hilarious comments at Dale’s.

    But – why is it we have so many rescue organisations, mostly voluntary and self funded, in this country?
    Every conceivable type of pet has the equivalent rescue centre, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, donkeys, horses etc.
    And it’s always seemed a bit strange that in this country with zillions of acres of open countryside for wild animals to live, we need to have sanctuaries to protect them.

    Years ago, I persuaded a young neighbour to hand over several rabbits that had been bought as pets, and then left outside in all weathers, neglected, unfed and fly struck.
    Then it was rats – they died of neglect, and then a talking bird – a mynah? and that lived in the kids bedroom behind the closed curtains.

    I understand that the RSPCA can now go in and rescue animals before they’re on the actual brink of dying.
    Best of luck, they’ll need it.

    Can’t help but dream sometimes, that like voting – only on condition that you can at least recognise the front bench!
    And with pets, only on condition you can understand and supply their needs.
    Oh well….

  7. Johnny Norfolk

    You see what we are on about. Its just creeping further and further into our lives.
    When I lived in Germany I would not believe you had to take an exam before you are allowed to go course fishing, but its true.
    It just more and more control of our daily life. Tom you should vote against any of this. You must make a stand for freedom it is more important than anything.
    In Europe and Germany in particular the have laws for everything and I mean everthing. Then they wonder why people cannot think for themselves.

  8. If you had been reshuffled to DEFRA and made responsible for this policy would you have sent it back to your civili servants with a caustic comment?

    Be honest.

  9. Honestly? Absolutely yes!

  10. Madasafish

    DEFRA must have too much time on their hands. Time for a cull..

    (of staff not badgers 🙂

  11. Stu

    Just what is the difference between animal welfare and animal rights Mr Harris? Surely your not one of those poor misguided souls who believe that its perfectly ok to chase after and kill foxes etc for fun. Just what is it that makes the human race so superior?

    Maybe one of the reasons attendence in the house is so poor when discussing transport and road safety issues is the absolute failure of the Labour government to improve our transport system, if anything its got worse.

  12. Martin Cullip

    Tom @ 9:51am: Great to hear it but I hope you don’t mind if I don’t believe you ;-). Unfortunately, there is a hell of a lot of such guff that emanates from Labour that should be treated in the same dismissive manner, but it isn’t, more’s the pity.

    ““But how would you like it if someone cut off your little boy’s finger?” my colleague replied in defence of her argument supporting a ban on docking””

    You should know Kerry by now. 😉

    “A few weeks ago they were consulting on what types of plants we should be allowed to grow in our gardens. Apparently.”

    Doesn’t this give creedence to the recent contributors here who complained about Labour interfering in every aspect of our lives?

    Lastly, you think Hillary Benn’s diktat was bad? (and what a humiliation for the proud Benn line is it that he is announcing such tripe as that?). How about this from PETA? I’m sure the Hon. Mem. from Bristol will soon be pushing for this as Government policy.

    http://blog.peta.org.uk/2008/sea-kittens-and-chimps

  13. Martin, I can see why you might have thought it was Kerry but in all honesty it wasn’t (same intake, though).

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