Campaigner urges councils to scan microchips in dead cats
A PETITION has been lodged in parliament to introduce a microchip scanning scheme for domestic cats in order that animals found dead can be reported to owners.
Campaign organiser Mandy Lowe says residents in Argyll and Bute have come out in force to offer support.
Ms Lowe, who lives on the West Coast, explained: ‘ I started a nationwide petition asking councils to scan cats.
‘Currently, it is not enshrined in law that councils, or any authority for that matter, has to scan dead cats or domestic pets picked up by street cleaning teams within councils’ areas.
‘As it stands, councils have full legal right to collect dead animals and dispose of them as general rubbish. I have had my cat Mosh for almost 10 years now. He came as a stray kitten as his previous owners got bored with him as he was getting older and did not want him any longer. To think that someone could run him over and not legally be obliged to stop and assist him breaks my heart.
‘ To make it worse, the local council is also legally within its right to come along and dispose of his body like a bag of rubbish.
‘ He is not rubbish to me – he is part of our family and councils need to give some thought to people who invest so much love and money in these animals, and let them know if they have their pet and what has happened.
‘ They are a life form who someone somewhere cares very much about. Councils refusing to scan them and notify owners raises a lot of sadness and anger within me.
‘ The majority of pet owners now get their pets micro- chipped and go to great lengths to ensure they are reunited with their pet should it get lost, injured or be taken somewhere.
‘ The worst thing to happen is that authorities can just throw a person’s animal – some argue family member – in a bin.
‘ It is a great concern to pet owners.
‘ My initial petition gained a lot of support and numerous councils agreed to make changes to how they operate.
‘ However, there are still some which refuse to look into the issue at least.
‘ For these councils, we fight for a change in the law.
‘My government webpage petition can be found at https:// petition. parliament. uk/ petitions/172989.’
Mandy explained that a large number of people have signed the petition from the West Coast. She said: ‘Councils around the UK who did not scan have since teamed up with organisations such as Cats Protection who have stepped in to donate scanners for councils facing financial difficulty.
‘Argyll and Bute Council said it was using a scheme where pets were disposed of via a local vet after considering the situation at an officer level, and not in governance arrangements.’
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman said: ‘Officers will scan any dead domestic pets they are made aware of for a microchip and attempt to inform the owners if possible.
‘ The pet will be disposed of via a local vet. We will record any instance where officers are called to collect a dead domestic pet.’
Mandy Lowe says Mosh is part of her family.