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Reassurance for owners of cats killed on the road

Any cat found dead on the road by council officers is scanned to check whether it has been microchipped and, if so, attempts are then made to contact its owner.


That is the reassuring message from Fenland District Council in response to a stream of letters from local people asking what the council did to inform owners whose pets had been killed.

The letters were prompted by a nationwide petition that has attracted more than 43,000 supporters.

In response, the council has assured people that it takes steps to ensure that wherever possible the owners of animals killed in road incidents are contacted.

Councillor Peter Murphy, the Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: "It is always horrible to lose a pet but it is even worse when you don't know what has happened to it. That's why we've had procedures in place for about 10 years to try to deal with this situation.

"If our cleansing staff are made aware of a dead cat or dog, they will retrieve the body and take it to our depot where it is scanned.

"If it is microchipped, we check the PETtrac database for ownership details and if possible arrange for it to be reunited with its owner.

"If no chip is found, the body is kept for a minimum of four weeks in case an owner comes forward.

"Our contracted dog warden and local vets know of these procedures and will refer owners looking for a lost pet to us."

The Care2 petition's suggested letter to councillors says: "When a cat is hit and killed by a vehicle, it is devastating for their owners. But sometimes, when a cat goes missing, its owners may never find out if they are lost or have been killed in a road accident. There is no closure for the owners and their feelings of loss may go on and on."

The law states that it has to be reported when a dog is involved in a road accident. The same does not apply to cats.

New regulations came into force in April making it compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be microchipped and for owners' up-to-date contact details to be registered on an approved database. The council's stray dog contractor has chipped 40 dogs since April. Any owners found not to be complying may face prosecution and a £500 fine.

Article added September 12, 2016