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World Animal Road Accident Awareness Day

World Animal Road Accident Awareness Day - because animals deserve a chance of survival and dignity in death.

No animal deserves to be left in the road like rubbish following a road traffic accident.

World Animal Road Accident Awareness Day aims to be a day to commemorate the fallen and to help raise awareness to change the fate of those who have not yet found themselves in this predicament. So many animals never getting the option of a second chance, for no other reason but the driver didn’t see their lives as important enough to give them a second thought before fleeing the scene. Accidents will sadly always happen, and even the very best of drivers could accidently hit an animal unexpectedly. It is the actions of the driver in the aftermath that determines someone's level of moral bankruptcy.

How you can help

Domestic pets

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that drivers must report hitting the following animals to the police; dogs, horses, cattle/cows, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and mules. Although there is currently no obligation to report all animal deaths on roads, the police do advise​ that drivers should make enquiries to ascertain the owner of domestic animals, such as cats, to notify them of the situation. Regardless of any laws, the most important thing is that the animal is given the very best chance should it survive the initial hit. We unashamedly urge people to concentrate on potentially saving an animals life before abiding by their duty of law. For example, a dog stands a much better chance of survival if seen by a vet, rather than a police officer with no veterinary skills. Even if the dog flees the scene of a collision, the incident is a recordable offence, and must be reported to police on 101 in all instances. For more information on dog collisions see here.

If you sadly hit or find a domestic cat injured in the street, they will need to see a veterinarian straight away. Drivers will not incur costs for taking in any injured animal to a vets. You can locate and contact your nearest via this link. Veterinarians are only obliged to administer pain relief to relieve suffering, so owners should ensure pets are microchipped and the details kept up to date. Every day in the UK, 630 cats will be hit by cars. 25% of hits will be fatal, meaning 75% have a good chance at survival if the driver seeks help straight away. Find out how you can help if you hit or find a cat in the road on our website. Including what to do if a cat runs off, how to administer roadside first aid, what to do out of hours, and much more.

If an animal is deceased, and does not have a collar with their owners details on, you can try knocking on doors in the immediate area. On average it will take someone knocking on 3 houses to either directly find an owner, or obtain knowledge of where it's believed the cat lives. Failing that you can take a deceased animal to the vets for microchip scanning and storage in cold facilities until the owner can be found. Dogs must now be microchipped by law, and the law is changing to bring cats in line with dogs, so there is a very good chance owners will be swiftly located. Drivers are in no way obligated financially for taking an injured or deceased animal to the vets. If out of hours, there are 24-hour vets operating UK wide - use this tool to find your nearest practice and this tool, typing in ''emergency vet'' and your location, for your closest emergency 24hr practice. You can also get in touch with your local scanning angel who can help by offering a free roadside microchip scanning service, if volunteers are available in your area.

Another option is to contact your local council who will collect deceased animals from the roadside. However, not all councils scan and return pets, and the time between reporting and collecting usually means someone else has already moved the cat. This option increases the risk of an owner not receiving closure.​ In addition to all of the above, you can also use lost and found sites on social media to try and locate the owner.


In Britain, annual road casualties are estimated to account for 100,000 fox deaths, 50,000 badgers, 50,000 deer, 30 million birds and 29% of hedgehogs. Based on statistical analysis of those potentially unrecorded, the realistic death rate is estimated to be around 70 million animals. A waste of life summed up in numbers that are hard to comprehend.

Wildlife casualties should be reported to your nearest wildlife rescue They are specifically trained to care for and rehabilitate wildlife, resulting in the animal standing a much better chance of survival as euthanasia rates in wildlife tends to be high. Like domestic pets, wildlife can also be taken to a veterinary practice at no cost to the driver. Your local council will collect deceased wildlife off roads. If you suspect a deceased wildlife casualty may be pregnant or lactating, or you have seen young nearby, contact your local wildlife centre immediately who can assist in rescuing the vulnerable young.

Should you see or hit an animal on one of England's motorways or major A roads, dead or alive, you should call Highways England on 0300 123 5000 They will notify a nearby patrol who will collect deceased animals and scan domestic pets for a microchip. Should the animal be alive and in danger, they will close the motorway and the RSPCA will be called to assist in a rescue operation if necessary. See also Transport Scotland, Dfi Roads Northern Ireland, and Traffic Wales. See here for brief of some other countries.

Collisions with larger animals can result in severe injuries or death to the passengers of the vehicle and are almost always fatal to the animal. During the daytime visibility is much better than at night when animals are practically invisible to drivers. Accidents involving large animals can be avoided if the animals are visible to approaching cars, and there are numerous ways landowners can help improve this situation. Livestock tend to wear ID tags, and simply placing high visibility reflective tape on the back of the id tag makes them visible to drives hundreds of feet way.

With 11 incidents a day occurring involving reindeer in Finland, herders have come up with an ingenious way to help keep reindeer and drivers safe. In the same way a luminescent jacket will ligh