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Campaigners want new laws to protect cats on the road

Cat in  the street © Pixabay

An online petition is urging the government to bring in new laws on how traffic accidents involving cats are recorded.

By Ashley Murphy, 14 Feb 2019

The campaign was started by Helen Abrahams after her pet cat was killed in a car accident and then cremated without her knowledge. Speaking to the BBC, Ms Abrahams said, "She was thrown away like a piece of rubbish."

Our cats must be included

As it stands, only dogs must be microchipped, and drivers are obliged to report accidents involving a dog within 24 hours.

Ms Abrahams petition has collected more than 50,000 signatures which calls for current legislation to be extended to include and protect cats. Ms Abrahams said,  

“If she had her chip scanned I would have had my baby back and I could have cremated her like all of my other cats...I am absolutely furious because to scan a cat takes seconds and these scanners are very cheap.”

Gizmos Legacy

But the Gizmos legacy campaign, names after Ms Abraham late cat, isn't just about the owner's peace of mind; it's also about maintaining the dignity of our beloved cats: "People have witnessed cats being thrown into the back of refuse trucks. I don't want a pet being left on landfill sites.”

The petition has already gained some celebrity support, with Emmerdale actress Samantha Giles backing the campaign. She said:  “It is very, very important that the owners find out when their cat goes missing.”

Gizmos legacy follows on from a recent campaign called Cats Matter. Like Ms Abraham, they want to make it compulsory for all drivers and council workers to check any animal for a microchip.

A spokesperson from the Cats Matter campaign committee told the BBC,  “One of the main reasons we wanted a law change was because so many cats still slip through the net, and dogs of course, at the councils who do have scanners."

The RSPCA fully supports the introduction of new policies regarding the mandatory identification of any animals injured or killed in road traffic accidents.