Cam­paigner urges coun­cils to scan mi­crochips in dead cats

The Oban Times - - NEWS - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

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.

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