20,000 French cats stolen by rustlers
Friday 10 December 1999
It is feared some cats are being stolen to provide victims to train attack dogs or to amuse their sadistic owners. Others are taken for their fur. A raid on a tannery in Deux-Sevres, western France, discovered 1,500 skins, which were being used to make babies' shoes.
Anne Vesgien, a cat lover who is a magistrate and head of an association campaigning for better legal status for pets in France and other EU countries, said: "These offences ... can lead to acts of ... barbarity, even if many people seem to find the whole thing funny. We move heaven and earth for a stolen car or painting but in these cases nothing is done."
A Socialist MP and vet, Genevieve Perrin-Gaillard, is to press for tougher laws on identification of cats and dogs to give authorities more weapons against pet rustlers. By law all cats and dogs have to be tattooed with their identity before they can be sold or given to another person, but it has proved impossible to enforce.
A bereaved cat-owner in Toulouse told Le Figaro: "A neighbour saw a white car stop in front of our house. A young woman ... caught my cat in a sheet and then shoved it into a basket. The car drove away quickly ... since then we can only imagine the worst."
The equivalent of the RSPCA says it has been inundated with reports of stolen cats. Some have strayed but it reckons the number of suspicious cases to be at least 20,000 a year and rising.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...