A new petition for a change in the law is seeking to ensure that motorists who run over a cat will now have to report it. Surprisingly, this hadn’t been enshrined in law in the UK previously. It was a legal requirement to report if your car hit a dog – or, in rare countryside cases, a cow, horse, sheep, pig or goat – but when it came to our feline friends, it was left totally at the discretion of the driver, and sadly often went unreported.
The decision came straight out of Westminster, and commenting on the law, one government spokesperson said that it being pushed in large part because they ‘recognised the distress that can be caused to cat owners’ when they are searching for their cat, when in some cases they have sadly already been killed by a collision.
The government spokesperson also detailed how cat owners should think strongly about microchipping their cat, in order to give them the best chance of being located before anything serious happened.
The news was welcomed by Mandy Hobbis, co-founder of CatsMatter, who stated; “to ask that drivers be made aware of their responsibilities, and stop to report incidents, is a perfectly reasonable ask in a civilised and so-called animal-loving nation. Our fear is that many injured cats are put down simply because there is no way of contacting owners.”
The charity itself was first establish due to one of the other co-founders had suffered the loss of her cat Henry after he was struck by a car in April of 2017. She used the event to inspire her to seek to enact change on the way that cats were recognised in terms of their legal value.
Many solicitors in Lancashire and around the UK will be interested to hear of this law change, as they are with any legal change that may impact their clients, whether they’re representing cat owners, motorists, or both types of clients as happens with many firms who cover a lot of different legal issues.
It remains to be seen if this law will go through in the near future; it is actually having a second reading in the Commons soon, but the many cat-loving campaigners who are behind its creation will be very hopeful that it is passed and that cats will soon enjoy the same dignity as many other similarly beloved animals who can be at major risk out on the British roads.