Muzzle Britain's 'sadistic' cats to stop birds being 'hunted to extinction' warns peer

31 May 2022, 10:11

Muzzle Britain's 'sadistic' cats to stop birds being 'hunted to extinction' warns peer
Muzzle Britain's 'sadistic' cats to stop birds being 'hunted to extinction' warns peer. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By James Bickerton

Britain's domestic cats must muzzled to avoid native birds being "hunted to extinction" according to a prominent peer.

The call came from Viscount Monckton, former UKIP deputy leader, following a new study which found UK cats kill 160-270 million small animals a day.

Writing for the Daily Mail the peer compared Britain's "serial killer" cats to "the Nazis over-running the Maginot Line", adding they kill with "brutal sadism".

Viscount Monckton referenced fresh research from the University of Reading and Royal Holloway College, University of London, which suggested cats kill significantly more small animals than previously thought.

The study concluded they are responsible for up to 270 animal deaths in Britain annually, a significant rise on the 100 million previously estimated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The peer commented: "I have a message for and for all who keep cats. If you let them out, particularly at night or if you are not with them, put a muzzle on them.

"A cat curfew might be hard to enforce, but muzzles are a simple solution."Dog-owners are obliged to keep their dogs in their own gardens, or under close control when they take them for a walk. No such rule applies to cats.

"Yet cats usually do not eat their prey. Like the foxes to which they are related, they hunt for the sake of hunting and kill for the sake of killing.

"For Nature’s sake, please muzzle your moggies before Britain’s native birds are hunted to extinction."

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The University of Reading and Royal Holloway College research, based on 79 cats, found each "suburban" cat in the UK kills an average of 15 animals each year, versus 34 for their "country cat" counterparts.

It also concluded collar bells don't work, with those cats that had one fitted on average killing more animals than those which didn't.

Dr Rebecca Thomas from Royal Holloway, one of the researchers who carried out the study, pointed out British cats live in highly unnatural conditions and have no natural predators.

She said: "They reach incredibly and unnaturally high densities, especially in suburban environments.

"They get fed by their owners and given veterinary care, so you could consider them mini super-predators."

Cats Protection, a charity which exists to safeguard Britain's felines, admits hunting is "natural behaviour" for cats.

To counter this it recommends cat owners keep their cats "inside at night, and during dawn and dusk" and "provide them with plenty of interactive play sessions and enrichment toys".

Viscount Monckton concluded: "Muzzling cats will not hurt them. Many dogs are muzzled when they go out and about.

"Muzzling stops cats from hurting and killing birds, as well as baby hedgehogs, rabbits and other small mammals."

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