Pets: Death

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to obligate councils to scan dead pets they collect from roads and paths.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

I recognise how painful it is to lose a pet and it must be very difficult to not have closure when a beloved pet is killed on the road, and the owner is not informed. It is established good practice for local authorities to scan any dog or cat found on the streets so that the owner can be informed and I am keen to work together with local authorities and others to further promote best practice in this area.

In 2015, the necessary arrangements were made to all Highways England’s contracts to collect and identify cats and dogs killed on the strategic road network and contact owners where possible. This included retrofitting the Network Management Manual (NMM) where in addition to dogs, cat fatalities are collected and identified where possible.

In addition, under the Road Traffic Act 1988, there is a requirement for drivers to stop and report accidents involving certain working animals including cattle, horses and dogs. The Highway Code also advises drivers to report accidents involving any animal to the police. This should lead to many owners being notified when their pets are killed on roads.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to debate these issues in the Westminster Hall on 17 June.

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