Under current legislation, felines are not covered by regulations which require motorists to report collisions with animals, but Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham has begun a Private Member’s Bill to Parliament, with MPs scheduled to consider the bill in Parliament.
The Cats Bill summons for a modification to the Road Traffic Act (1988) making it a legal requirement that any motorist involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to a cat must stop and give information or report the accident to the police.
The Act currently pertains to dogs, horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and mules but cats, badgers, deer or foxes are not.
A description of the bill reads: “A Bill to require the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to a cat to stop and give information or report the accident to the police; to require the keepers of certain cats to ensure they are microchipped; and for connected purposes.”
And even Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, and Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, are seriously considering the proposal.
The Labour Party are said to be supporting the plan and propose to incorporate the issue on their next manifesto.
The Cats Bill was scheduled in Parliament to be discussed in Parliament on Friday (March 22) but is currently on a lengthy listing of legislation to be heard in the House of Commons, and the push for a shift in the law is being driven by the campaign group Cats Matter, and their prime purpose is to make cat deaths on the road reportable, so the cat gets the chance for vet treatment as soon as possible.
Many pets that could have otherwise survived die “slowly and painfully” because no one stopped to help. Cats Matter further want local councils to scan animals discovered at the roadside for microchips so that the cat owners can be notified if their pet is hit by a vehicle.
Campaigners want owners to have their pets microchipped and for councils to routinely check any cats discovered at the roadside for identification because there is a predicted eight million pet cats in the United Kingdom and about 230,000 cats that are killed as a result of a road traffic accident each year.
There are about 11 million cats and they are part of people’s daily lives, and they bring tremendous happiness to many people, particularly the elderly, and if these felines tragically get killed on the road, their owners want closure, they want to know what’s happened to their loved one.
Drivers need to be made aware of their responsibilities and they should stop and report incidents, after all, it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask in a civilised and so-called animal-loving nation.
And usually, numerous cats are put down solely because there’s no way of contacting the owners, and as a nation of animal lovers, we should recognise the suffering that can be caused when a cat goes astray or becomes lost, which is why cats should be microchipped so that it gives the cat the best possibility of being reunited with their owner.
It would save an awful lot of heartache knowing what’s happened, if nothing else but to be kind, after all, an animal is an animal, whatever variety it is, and this is a law that not only protects the animal but further promotes civility.
Of course, cat owners should be allowed equal rights as dog owners, but they should also take the same legal responsibilities. However, there are numerous people out there that are really anti cats, but there are also numerous old people who live on their own who have a cat as a companion and friend, which makes them smile and not feel so alone, but yet there is very unyielding hatred of them.