National Animal Road Accident Awareness Day
630 cats are hit by cars every single day in the UK. 25% of these incidents will be fatal.
We challenge UK law, aim to change mind-sets and spread awareness to enlighten people on the best ways to help an injured animal. One good way we thought of doing this was to establish a national remembrance and awareness day which we will use to commemorate, promote and further mobilise action. Our RTA awareness day will be recognised nationally and will be a period to observe the pressing issues of concern and raise awareness, as well as being a day to remember the fallen and pay tribute to lost beloved pets.
Although our campaign centres around cats, we appreciate this is an issue affecting all animals. In Britain, annual road casualties are estimated to account for 100,000 fox deaths, 50,000 badgers, 50,000 deer, 30 million birds and Hedgehogs once topped the death table with 29% of them being killed by cars... that was until they entered on the critically endangered list. Based on statistical analysis of those potentially unrecorded, the realistic death rate is estimated to be around 70 million animals. Highways England state 2,143 dead animals were found on just 4,300 miles of motorway - accounting for just 1% of the UK's entire road network.
Worldwide, Brazil alone recorded 1.3 million animals die every day after being struck by cars, that's 475 million animals every single year in one country alone - about 15 animals every second. The USA acknowledges that one million animals die every single day on roadways, including 26 million cats annually. A waste of life summed up in numbers that are hard to comprehend.
By the creation of an awareness day, we hope to coordinate a message which will be shared nationally, for all animals. We can't stop roads being built, or animals wandering on to them, but we can make people acknowledge what has happened and help the animal, if not help prevent most collisions happening in the first case just by highlighting the issue and bringing it to the forefront of drivers minds .
You might see the above figures as 'just numbers', but you should see each and every number as an individual soul. Each number had family, friends, and a life. Each number was also able to feel excruciating pain. Most of these numbers would have died a slow, painful and lonely death. This is one thing we can stop! We can help put a stop to the millions of unnecessary and avoidable deaths happening on UK roads each year. Driving with that extra due care and attention will save many lives but accidents can, and always will, happen - even to the very best animal loving drivers! What is then hoped is that the drivers will do all they can to help the animal they have just hit. There is never an excuse to be so morally bankrupt as to flee the scene without checking on an animal.
UK law states drivers must report hitting the following animals to the police; dogs, horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and mules. Domestic pets will need to be taken to a veterinarian, immediately if injured. Follow our guidance on how to aid an injured cat. Deceased domestic pets should still be taken to a local vets who can scan for a microchip. Dogs need to be microchipped by law, and soon will cats be following our work with DEFRA and the Cats Bill. Domestic pets will be scanned for a microchip and owners notified.
Helping wildlife tends to be different to that of domestic animals, and you will need to approach the situation differently, both to potentially protect yourself from injury, and causing further stress or injury to the animal. Your nearest wildlife rescue should be the first port of call as they will be trained specifically in the care and rehabilitation of certain species. Instant life saving treatment by a vet may be a good option initially, but informing the local wildlife rescue also is advised. Vets are only obliged to administer pain relief to relieve suffering which could lead to wildlife causalities being unnecessarily euthanized, as is the case of RSPCA Collection Officers. You can find your nearest wildlife rescue here.