Cause for celebration for Cats Protection campaigners

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Cat lovers are celebrating victory at local level as the Giffnock and District branch of Cats Protection convince East Renfrewshire Council to back their road campaign.

As reported in The Extra, the group launched a petition calling for amendments to the Road Traffic Act which states that a motorist who knocks down a dog has a legal obligation to report it — but the same rule does not apply for a cat.

The petition is ongoing and has gained more than 2,500 signatures — but a meeting with East Ren Council has taken the campaign one step further.

Now, the council’s road sweeping team will carry microchip scanners, allowing owners to be notified if their pet has been run over.

Karen Minnery, Cats Protection co-ordinator, told The Extra: “We’re delighted with the news, and hope that ERC will lead the way for other councils to follow.

“We’re supplying scanners at our expense, and the council’s cleansing team will keep a log for us, scanning cats with microchips or making a note of any without chips. We can then try and match it up with any missing cats.”

Karen added: “On Saturday night there was a cat knocked down and killed — but this time I was able to go and scan it, and return it to its owners.

“It’s a horrible situation, but it makes such a difference to people, to be able to bury their pet.”

The news has been welcomed by hundreds of supporters on the Cats Protection Facebook page, and other branches are adopting the campaign in the hope of influencing their local authorities.

A spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire Council said: “We are delighted to be working with the Cats Protection League on this.

“The scanners will be carried by our quick response teams and we’re happy that we may be able to help owners with answers about what has happened to their beloved pets.”

The petition to change the Road Traffic Act (1998) is available at: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104735.