This week's Talking Point looks at the issue of how we treat our pets and whether ownership of animals should be governed by law.
Over the weekend, it emerged that leading animal welfare charities had been liaising with the UK Government to determine new legislation on the keeping of pets. A new Animal Welfare Bill would pull together disparate laws that govern pet ownership in Britain, including the 1911 Protection of Animals Act, into one piece of legislation. The RSPCA has just released new statistics that show a rapid increase in animal cruelty, but a decline in successful prosecutions of owners.
Do you have a pet? Do you consider yourself to be a good owner?
Should children be able to buy pets without their parents being present?
Should parents be made ultimately responsible for the welfare of animals owned by their children?
How can we define what is cruel treatment of domestic animals and what is not?
Should animal charities have the power to actively prevent bad treatment rather then having to wait until cruelty has taken place?
Should the keeping of exotic pets have a licensing system?
Is keeping dogs and cats in cities, where they might not get enough stimulation, cruel?
Is cruelty to pets a matter for legislation or personal conscience?
Tell us your views on our responsibilities to our animal friends.