Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 15:31 UK

Charity to lift estate's cat ban

The Horton family and cat George
The Horton family were turned down when they applied to adopt a cat

An animal charity intends to lift a ban on re-homing cats on a Kent estate after it was deemed too dangerous.

The RSPCA had barred residents on the Stanhope Estate in Ashford from adopting the pets because of a high rate of illnesses and airgun attacks.

The policy came to light after the Horton family applied to an RSPCA cattery and were turned down.

RSPCA officers are to visit the estate to offer advice, micro-chipping and neutering before lifting the ban.

Cat flu

RSPCA regional Supt Paul Stilgoe said: "Following the [visit], we intend to lift the ban on the estate and will deal with re-homing requests on a case by case basis.

"This will include revisiting people who have been turned down recently."

The charity said re-homing on the estate was suspended two years ago because of the high rate of potentially fatal illnesses among cats such as parvovirus and cat flu.

It added that the spate of airgun attacks made staff at the cattery in Ashford believe it was unsafe to home the animals in the area.

Officers will be at Stanhope parish hall on Thursday and Friday offering the advice and discounted neutering and treatments for worms and fleas.


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