Allegations of cat cruelty in the Stirling area are being taken seriously, council officers say.
Their comment came in the wake of the ‘cat kicking’ scandal surrounding Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma after advisers sought assurances that any such incident in the Stirling area would be dealt with by the relevant authorities .
A video showing the West Ham United player in his kitchen kicking his pet cat drew widespread condemnation when it was posted online. He was later fined £250,000 by London Football Club and his cats were taken into the care of the RSPCA while the association investigates their welfare.
At a meeting of Stirling Council’s environment and health committee on Thursday, councilors were told that although the authority itself is not responsible for handling cat welfare cases, all reports are forwarded to the appropriate channels or to members of the public with contact details.
Green Councilor Alasdair Tollemache said: ‘We all know about the case in the newspapers and the media of an abused cat. When you do animal welfare checks do you also include cats as we only have a dog sitter?
“Also, do you think the public knows what to do in such cases?”
Officers said: “The dog sitter service is focused on the welfare of the dogs. They don’t focus on cats, but that would be referred to the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
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“We have a very strong relationship locally with the SSPCA and work with them very closely with all kinds of animals including dogs, farm animals, horses etc. If a member of the public contacts Stirling Council they will be directed to the SSPCA but there is always more we can do and we are happy to take this forward.
SNP councilor Alasdair Macpherson praised the work of the local Cat Protection League as ‘very proactive’, adding: ‘Although they mainly deal with missing cats rather than on the cruelty side, they are also very good.”
The committee was also informed of the activities carried out by the dog guard between October 1 and November 30 last year.
This included five ongoing animal welfare checks, as well as: engagement and guidance given (dog check) – two cases; dog dirt bags distributed (pkts) 202; erected signs of fouling – new; dog fouling patrols conducted – 20; warning letters for behavior – six; dog control notice issued – one; fixed dog fault notice issued – none; reports/found and collection of stray dogs – seven; and noise complaints involving dogs – 39.