DRIVERS who run over a cat will be forced to report it to police under a new law being considered in Parliament.
The ‘Cats Bill’ will require anyone who hits a cat ‘resulting in injury or death’ to stop immediately and give information to the police.
Currently, there is no legal requirement to report incidents involving cats, unlike with other animals.
But the new law – proposed by MP Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham – is looking to change that.
The change to the Road Traffic Act (1988) has been led by Animals Lost and found in Kent Ltd with support from Cats Matter, which says its mission is to improve road safety for cats.
The not-for-profit organisation claims more than one in ten driver ‘has left a cat to die alone’.
The group says: “Our mission is to promote awareness and prevention. It's easier to anticipate cats in the road than it is to miss them.
“For those who love them, it's never 'just a cat.' “
The private members’ bill has had its first reading in parliament and awaits a date for the first full debate.
As it stands, the Road Traffic Act covers animals including dogs, horses, cattle and sheep.
Animals not covered include cats, foxes, badgers and deer.
What do you think? Should drivers be required by law to report cat injury or death to police? Comment below.
Cats Matter lists the following advice for anyone involved in an accident with a cat.
“It's basic human decency to stop the car if you have hit a cat. Even if you don't love cats, the chances are good, there's another person who loves the one you have just hit and will be devastated, not only that they were injured or killed, but that nothing was done to help.
“It is also crucial to remember, that statistically, only 25% of road traffic accidents involving cats are fatal, so the chances are good the cat can survive with urgent care - instead of being left to suffer a needlessly slow and painful death because they were abandoned at the scene.
“If the cat was lucky enough to survive the incident, there will still be a need for basic first aid to get them stable / comfortable before the journey to the vets.
Note: vets will not charge you for bringing an injured or deceased animal to them.
“Firstly, keep calm and assess the situation. The cat will be terrified and likely in pain, so avoid any sudden movements and aim for slow, gentle body language.
“The best way to lift an injured cat is with one hand under the chin at the front of the chest, and the other supporting the hind quarters. If the cat is displaying signs of aggression, it may be better to use a towel or blanket to lift them.” REPORT IT “It is basic human decency to report the incident. If the cat has sadly been killed, do not call the police as there is nothing they can do to notify the owners.
Although there is currently no obligation to report all animal deaths on roads, the police do advise drivers that, if possible, they should make enquiries to ascertain the owner of domestic animals, such as cats, and advise them of the situation.
If the cat does not have a collar with their details, you can try knocking on doors in the immediate area. Chances are they live nearby and someone will know who they belong to.
Failing that, you can still take a deceased cat to the vets for microchip scanning and storage in cold facilities, until the owner can be found.