Cat lovers call for change in the law after a spate of attacks in Brighton

Alan died after being stabbed in Brighton
Alan died after being stabbed in Brighton

The grieving owner of a black cat stabbed to death last week is calling for a change in the law to animal cruelty offences.

Kath Mattock found her beloved pet Alan fatally wounded on her doorstep in North Gardens, central Brighton on Monday, February 4.

Police have confirmed this is the 14th incident in a series of cat attacks over the last four months.

Related stories: ‘Beloved’ black cat found stabbed to death on owner’s doorstep in Brighton

Ms Mattock said: “I feel deeply let down by Brighton police. It took over two hours to get through to them on the phone.”

When she did speak to an officer, she was advised there was no further line of enquiry as the incident was a ‘crime against property.’

She said: “Whilst I understand by law a cat is just a chattel and at best this is deemed a case of criminal damage to property, this person is terrorising the community.”

Prevention Inspector Dan Hiles said: “We are investigating 14 reports of cats with injuries in the city.

“We are asking the public to report any concerning behaviour or suspicious activity, particularly in the area around London Road railway and the North Laines.

“Investigators have been assigned to work on these reports as we understand the impact and emotional distress that such incidents can have on the cat owners and families.”

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “There is understandable fear and worry about this situation in the local community and it’s important that officers listen and respond.

I’ve been in contact with the police about their investigation and they have told me they are actively looking into the matter.”

The MP is calling for stricter sentencing on animal cruelty offences in parliament and has tabled a parliamentary question on the draft Animal Welfare Bill in response to the brutal attacks.

Under common law duty of care, cats have the ‘right to roam’ and are protected as the property of their owners under The Theft Act.

To kill or injure a cat is an offence against the Criminal Damage Act.