This time last year we began officially campaigning for the compulsory microchip scanning of cats found by council waste teams. We collected data from every single council in the UK and, as you can see from the graph below, it was no easy feat.
Following the great success of our most recent petition, we are thrilled to report that we have now successfully motivated 23 councils (including over half of the councils in Scotland) to updating or implement microchip scanning procedures, so that owners are notified in the event of their pet’s death.
10% of Councils Across the UK Still do not Scan Deceased Animals for Microchips
However, there is still a lot of work to be done, this is why our new petition will target the council Chiefs and Mayors. As it stands currently, a little over 10% of council do not scan pets collected, or notify the owners. Although the majority of councils do have microchip scanners, we know many cats slip through the net for various reasons, so just because your council does claim to scan, should your cat go missing, it is still worth contacting your local council to enquire. Unfortunately, we have found many microchipped cats have headed straight to landfill without being scanned which is unacceptable – even when the council claims to scan.
Although there is currently is no legal requirement for councils to scan, they do have a duty to listen to residents and act upon their concerns. While we work with councils at the local level, we also strive to achieve national legislation being put in place which we feel is the only way we can ensure no more cats 'slip through the net'.
Changing the Law to Make Microchip Scanning Mandatory
In regards to a law change, we are constantly in talks with numerous Government officials and departments, and our proposals for what a law change should include is currently being reviewed in various meetings in Parliament. We will, as always, keep everyone updated when we have news usually via the newsletter, and our social media channels. As always, we keep who we are working with between ourselves so as not to jeopardise proceedings.
The Welsh Assembly also are currently reviewing our Wales petition so keep your eyes peeled to our social media channels for further updates on how that is going also. After the petition got through the first round, we are now awaiting information from the Cabinet Secretary, and then it is due to be on the agenda for another meeting late November/early December.
Northern Ireland Slow to Implement Microchip Scanning Protocol
In terms of Northern Ireland, we have only recently entered talks with each district council. As you can see from the map, there is a lot of change needed but we are involved now, and already have had some encouraging responses from a few districts who do not currently scan, and from Animal Welfare officers.
Scotland Very Receptive to Cat Welfare Initiatives
Scotland, and the results we have achieved there, has always been something we are extremely proud of. Many of our supporters reside in Scotland, and the government officials we are in talks with clearly generally have animal welfare as their focus.
Before CatsMatter go involved, 14 councils did not scan cats found. Now just 4 remain. We have successfully changed the policy of 10 councils in Scotland. Each of the remaining 4 districts, we are either in talks with the district councillors, MPs, MSPS or County Council Chief Executives. We also are in talks with MSPs in regards to a law change also.
Our aim is to get all UK councils scanning, be it via a law change or voluntarily, so after our efforts with the remaining councils, we hope this UK map alters even further thanks to the support of all our supporters and their action on cat’s behalf.
Why do we continue to do what we do? because we personally know how it feels to have a loved family member disposed of alongside the rest of the general household waste, to rot in a landfill site. We firmly believe a cat’s final journey should be going home to family - not headed to landfill!