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Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson joins Members of the Cats Protection League at Annual Westminster R

Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson joins Members of the Cats Protection League at Annual Westminster Reception Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson attended a reception in Westminster to help highlight the work of the Cats Protection League to help raise awareness of protection of one of the UK's favourite pets. One of the Cats Protection League's recent campaigns has raised concerns about the growing commercial market of kitten breeding where hundreds are being bred in poor conditions, with many being sold desperately unwell, leaving new owners with hefty vet bills. Bill Esterson MP said: “With kittens being sold for anything from £50 to several hundred pounds - often too young to be separated from their mother - the Cats Protection League is calling for urgent action to update the law on pet sales and clamp down on those who put money before basic welfare. My Labour colleagues and I support this call for action to look after one of Britain's favourite pets. The law relating to the selling of cats and kittens dates back to 1951 and is no longer fit for purpose. The way pets are sold has completely changed since the 1950s, and far fewer cats are sold in pet shops. So far, the Conservative government has resisted calls for a change in the law but the Cats Protection League campaign is the ideal time to improve the welfare of kittens. The commercial breeding and sales of cats and kittens is a growing problem, and updating the law about the sale of pets, would be a huge step towards safeguarding feline welfare. I therefore welcome the current DEFRA review of animal establishment licences. He added: “I believe the Government need to bring in regulations which would ban the sale of kittens under eight weeks old, regulate repeat breeding from the family cat and define commercial cat sales. Current legal loopholes which allow breeding for sale to take place unscrutinised, usually from domestic premises also need to be closed”.

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said, "Like many people, I really value the companionship of family pets and I know just how many of my neighbours in Maghull have cats. For older people and for people who are on their own, cats can be a really important source of affection and we should do all we can to make sure that cats are looked after properly in return."

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