Manchester

Cats accident death law plans welcomed by campaigners

Gizmo Image copyright Helena Abrahams
Image caption Gizmo was cremated without her owner's knowledge

An MP has called for a change in the law so that cat owners can find out when their pets are killed or injured in road accidents like dog owners.

SNP MP Martyn Day said: "A few simple procedures could stop a family pet being dumped in a landfill site."

Campaigner Helena Abrahams, from Bury, collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for microchips to be scanned if a cat is killed.

The RSPCA and Cats Protection welcomed the plans.

Bury North MP James Frith said: "I am sure the debate will resonate well beyond here. These are to all intents and purposes, family members."

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection's advocacy manager, said: "The distress of cats' owners not knowing what's happened to their cats when they've been in an accident must end."

After the law was changed in 2016 requiring all dogs to be microchipped, Highways England agreed to scan dogs found dead on the roads.

Drivers are also legally obliged to report any accident involving a dog.

Image caption Helena Abrahams says cats "needed equality"

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "We would like to see the same for cats."

The government has said it is good practice for dogs and cats to be scanned following an accident.

Ms Abrahams' campaign Gizmo's Legacy is named after her own pet who was killed by a car and cremated without her knowledge. "She was thrown away like a piece of rubbish," said Ms Abrahams.

She added: "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.

"People have witnessed cats being thrown into the back of refuse trucks. I don't want a pet being left on landfill sites."

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