Image: hkase via Flickr.
Campaigners are calling for a change in law which would require drivers who knock down cats to report the incident. (Transport Network)
Under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 drivers are required to stop and report an accident involving specified animals including horses, cattle, sheep or dogs, but not cats or wild animals.
However, campaign group Cats Matter is calling for it to be made illegal for drivers to leave the scene without reporting that they have hit a cat.
The issue has been the subject of a number of petitions in recent years, including one in 2015 that gained 115,000 signatures on the change.org website – and one set up this year by Rebecca Leigh, whose own cat, Tigger, was knocked down and left for dead.
Ms Leigh, whose petition has nearly 5,000 signatures, called for a ‘Tigger law’ in memory of her cat.
The DfT told Transport Network that it understands the distress that can be caused when cats are run over and explained that the distinction between animals arises from the status of some as working animals rather than as domestic pets.
Although there is no obligation to report all animal deaths on roads, the police 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.
In addition, Rule 286 of The Highway Code also advises drivers to report any accident involving an animal to the police.
Category: General news.