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Should drivers who hit cats be required to report it to the police?

PUBLISHED: 08:35 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 14 March 2019

Bernadette the cat. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Bernadette the cat. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Archant

Drivers who run over a cat could soon be told they must report it to the police, as a new law is to be debated on Friday.

The Cats Bill would see drivers who injure or kill a cat be required to report the accident to the police.

It would also make it law that owners have to microchip their cats.

Eight dead cats were removed from the roadside in south Norfolk in 2017/18, and nine in Broadland.

In Breckland the number was 19, while in Great Yarmouth it was 27.

Norwich and North Norfolk do not keep a record.

At the moment Section 170 of the Road Traffic 1988 Act means drivers must report to police if they hit animals including horses, cattle, mules, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs - but not cats.

But the backbench legislation, proposed by Tory MP Rehman Chishti, could change this.

Mr Chishti told the Sunday Express: “There are around 11 million cats and they are part of people’s everyday lives.

“I think they bring people, immense happiness.

“If they’ve been tragically killed on the road, people do want closure.

“They want to know what’s happened to their loved one.”

The Bill is supported by the group Cats Matter.

Mandy Hobbs, the group’s co-founder, said: “To ask that drivers be made aware of their responsibilities and stop and report incidents is a perfectly reasonable ask in a civilised and so-called animal-loving nation.

“Our fear is many cats are put down simply because there is no way of contacting owners.”

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