Campaigning at the local level has so far seen 59 councils successfully adopt a scanning procedure. Now, thousands of cats over the coming years can be reunited with the owner who can receive some closure. At the national level we work with Government departments to make scanning a mandatory requirement. Our most recent victory was the unanimous agreement to a motion by the London Assembly which resulted in all new Transport For London contracts to include the scanning of cats found.
We are also currently working with the Veterinary Tissue Bank, and trials are currently being set up which will see deceased cats donated to save the lives of road accident survivors.
We have also produced a 'best practice' guide to which DEFRA have shown great interest in and we are currently working with the team on this.
Donations made to this campaign will also ensure we are in a position to offer councils the scanners and equipment where required.
MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO LEAVE THE SCENE
MPs and government departments are currently reviewing our proposals with the seriousness they deserve. Following a successful meeting with the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Sue Hayman MP, our draft law proposal was recently confirmed in the Labour Animal Welfare Manifesto.
We also worked with Rehman Chishti MP on the Cats Bill and it's success has resulted in the Government perusing the compulsory microchipping of cats, which we are working with the research team on. The second part of the Cats Bill, reportable RTAs, is also being internally discussed at DEFRA and we remain at the forefront of discussions on this following our successful meeting with policy officials in June 19.
Our main focus has, and always will be, ensuring it becomes illegal to leave the scene of a collision involving a cat in the UK, and CatsMatter are focused and determined to see legislation in place.
CatsMatter in Wales
The #CatsMatter campaign appeared at the Welsh Assembly after being invited by AMs following a successful campaign aiming to make it mandatory that Welsh council’s scan cats found and notify the owners. CatsMatter ensured the remaining 7 councils in Wales, who did not have a scanning policy in place, all began scanning domestic pets collected. Our long battle resulted in Wales becoming the first all-scanning nation in the world! We have also contributed to the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats.
CatsMatter in Scotland
CatsMatter were invited to Parliament in January 2018 to meet with members of the Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare in the Scottish Parliament. We are now actively working with MSPs on potentially introducing mandatory legislation requesting all Local Authorities in Scotland scan deceased pets, and notify the owners. We are also working with MSPs to make Scotland's roads safer for all animals, and working on ways to implement a requirement drivers must stop if they collide with a cat. Before CatsMatter began campaigning, 15 Local Authorities in Scotland did not scan cats found or notify owners. We have brought that number down to just 0 making Scotland the 2nd all-scanning country in the UK!
Given animal welfare is a devolved issue in Scotland, our work with DEFRA is unlikely to result in change in Scotland for cats on roads. For this reason, we are actively campaigning for the Scottish government to implement their own reportable RTA legislation. Our recently closed petition is currently being debated. To date, our petition has resulted in compulsory microchipping and reportable road collisions being considered.
CATSMATTER IN NORTHERN IRELAND
We have previously been in talks with the UUP, who are the only party in Northern Ireland to have an animal welfare manifesto, and they have agreed to look in to the inclusion of reportable RTAs when writing the next manifesto. The current political climate in NI has unfortunately held back significant progress, however we have continued to lobby local authorities. Before campaigning, 4 councils in NI did not scan cats found roadside. We have brought this number down to just 0. All councils in Northern Ireland now have a system in place. We also liaised with the Department for Infrastructure who, following review at our request, agreed to implement scanning throughout their depots.
As with all the UK, our goal is now to get a 'best practice' piece sent to influence improvements throughout.