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(Updated 20/02/01)

'Cats and Dogs' to feature on first-ever self-adhesive special stamps

Classic black and white images of our favourite household pets feature on Royal Mail’s latest set of special stamps, ‘Cats & Dogs’, issued on February 13.

The UK is one of the world’s top five pet-owning countries with half of all households owning a pet. Royal Mail has chosen to feature the most popular, cats and dogs, as a perfect reflection of the ‘British way of life’.

The striking black and white photographs portray the quirky relationship between animals - cats and dogs - and humans, and are by renowned photographers from the famous Magnum photographic agency, including Elliott Erwitt and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

‘Cats & Dogs’ will be the first set of special stamps issue to be self-adhesive, and available as a set of ten, all first class, making them useful for mailing ivitations, change of address cards or special occasions.

Mark Thomson, Managing Director, Royal Mail stamps and collectibles, said “This is a novel departure for special stamps which is intended to appeal to a new ‘breed’ of stamp enthusiast.

“The essentials of the special stamp remain the same, but by making them easier to use we are broadening the appeal of stamps. We are sure that the combination of self adhesion and the ‘Cats & Dogs’ subject will prove attractive to a great number of people.”

Stamps are available in retail books from larger Post Offices with Post Shops, the Birthdays retail chain and the British Philatelic Bureau; post cards featuring the stamps (25p each) are also available from the Bureau.
The presentation pack - available from main Post Office branches - containing the ten stamps (price £3.05) could spark off ‘I saw this and thought of you’ gift ideas for friends and family with pets.

The pack takes a tongue-in-cheek view of human’s interactions with their pets and has been written by Desmond Morris, the renowned anthropologist and best-selling author of such classics as The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo, Dogwatching and Catwatching. Packs include opportunities for children to adopt an endangered species from London Zoo.

First day covers of this stamp issue will also be available. For ‘first timers’ this is what you do: unstamped Royal Mail First Day Cover envelopes (price 25p) can be bought from main Post Offices and some sub post offices. Also purchase your Cats and Dogs stamps, stick them to the envelope, address it - to yourself or the intended recipient - and hand it back for posting. First day cover envelopes posted at main Post Offices will receive the pictorial “Petts Wood, Orpington” first day postmark.

Alternatively, pre-stamped and postmarked ‘Cats & Dogs’ First Day Covers are available by mail order from the British Philatelic Bureau. Price £2.25 UK (including VAT) or £1.92 overseas (no VAT). Orders need to be received before 13 February. British Philatelic Bureau, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PE, or telephone the order line on 08457 641 641.