MR. H. R. FAEQUHAESON (Dorsetshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he is aware that there are usually in London a large number of homeless cats; if he has any information whether the bite or scratch of a cat can convey hydrophobia; and, whether, if such is the case, he will take care that the muzzling order is extended to cats, and that the police have instructions to arrest and, if necessary, to destroy all unmuzzled cats?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I believe, after the best inquiry I have been able to make, that there are a large number of homeless cats in London. I understand that the bite or scratch of a rabid cat can convey hydrophobia, but happily cases of rabies in cats are comparatively rare. In the opinion of the authorities it is not practicable to muzzle cats, so as to prevent them from using their claws as well as their teeth. If I gave the police instructions to "arrest" cats I am doubtful if they would find it easy or possible to obey my instructions.