CatsMatter are thrilled to announce that, after over a year of negotiations, Leeds council have now agreed to implement deceased pet scanning procedures.
In the latter part of 2016, we began discussions with Leeds Council off the back of our first scanning petition. Initially, we were met with a lot of resistance and an apparent disinterest in working with us to instate the scanning procedures that so many Leeds residents were calling for. Hundreds of our supporters got involved and sent in letter after letter to the local councillor, pleading for the implementation of microchip scanning. Their words were heard. After months of receiving these letters, Leeds Council agreed to investigate the issue further. Sadly, this did not result in the actual adoption of scanning procedures, but just a promise to keep the deceased pet register more up-to-date and include more detailed information. This was a step in the right direction, but still not good enough.
Despite our offers to support wherever possible, Leeds confirmed that they had no plans to set up the scanning policy but would review it again at a later date. This left us no choice but to open communications with higher governing bodies.
Countless residents of Leeds and individuals involved with local rescue groups were very dissatisfied with this result and continually contacted us for help in getting the council on board for the much-needed scanning procedures. With them in mind, we began contacting local MPs and surrounding councillors to enlist their support and help us put pressure on Leeds to follow suit. Unfortunately, Leeds council was still not interested in this issue... until recently.
Leeds Finally Agrees to Microchip Scanning Trial
Fast-forward to November 2017 and Leeds council has not finally agreed to adopt a microchip scanning plan thanks to our conversations with the supportive Leeds MP Hilary Benn. The Leeds Council have now stated that they understand the degree of interest in reuniting deceased cats with their owners following a tragic accident and are looking into the feasibility of scanning all feline and canine victims of road traffic accidents. At present, operational crews are being equipped with scanners and animal body bags and are asked to scan each pet found and report to an owner when microchip is present.
We are thrilled by this very positive change and extremely hopeful that following the initial trial currently underway, this will be a permanent procedure across Leeds moving forward.
That said, at present, they are currently dismayed by the number of cats found without a microchip or with old details linked to an existing microchip, so please, ensure that your cats are chipped and that you keep all the details up-to-date so that, if the worst happens you are able to be contacted.
We would also like to take a moment to thank all of our supporters in Leeds who relentlessly put pressure on the council alongside our efforts and played such a big part in making this happen. Without them, this may have never come into fruition so well done to each and every person who participated.