In January 2018, CatsMatter headed to Cumbria to meet with Sue Hayman, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to discuss new legislation requiring motorists to report accidents where a cat has been injured or killed.
Sue reviewed the draft piece we had been working on which explained ways a law to require motorists to be made to stop and report hitting a cat could be implemented and enforced. We were overjoyed that Sue found the proposed legislation a perfectly feasible approach, and from a totally different angle than had ever been proposed before. Sue even went to far as to offer praise for taking such a different tactic than any campaign before and never relenting, despite all our setbacks over the years. Based on this, and her support in seeing cat welfare on roads legislated, she willingly agreed to push this forward.
A few months after our meeting, Labour released the draft Animal Welfare Plan, to which included reportable road accident involving cats. Shortly after, a public consultation took place.
Labour have now released the finalised plan with a concrete pledge to expand the reporting of motor accidents beyond livestock and dogs to include cats.
Of course we are thrilled and publically thank Sue for her ongoing support in our goal to see cats rights on roads legislated. It has been wonderful to work with Sue and her team on this very important issue over the last almost 2 years.
Whatever happens in the upcoming turbulent months, we are confident legislation will be in place in the future. Of the officials and MPs we continuously work with from each party, we are confident we have genuine dedicated support from right across the political spectrum.
You can see the Labour Animal Welfare Plan in full here.