After sadly losing my cat (10-04-14) due to being run over by a heartless driver who did not even stop, I decided to look into the Road Traffic Act (as I knew that drivers had to legally stop for dogs which have been hurt/killed by being run down by a car, I wanted to check what the laws were regarding cats). This is where I discovered that cats are classed as 'free agents' where if they are injured or killed in a road accident, the driver does not have to report it by law. As I have great love for feline friends, I have decided I would like to start a petition to have cats classed as "live stock/legal property". This in turn, will hopefully give cats more rights. Having cats classed as legal property will make it illegal for drivers to knock them down, whether they are injured or killed, without stopping and not informing the police.
By people informing the police of these accidents, it will help reduce the number of cats dying each year. This is due to the fact that if an accident is reported quick enough, vets can be informed and give the injured animal sufficient help which could save the cat's life thus reuniting the cat with their owner. For the more unfortunate cat's which have regrettably lost their lives due to fast drivers, the owner will still be informed and can make the correct arrangements for the cat. After all, it is best to know what has happened to your beloved animal than to not hear anything at all.
Cats are considered legal property when it comes to 'catnapping' or intentionally causing the animal harm. i.e. if a cat has been stolen from their owner, this is illegal as the cat is then considered to be 'legal property' thus it is a criminal offence, the same goes to if an individual goes out of their way to deliberately hurt a feline, this feline is then defined as 'legal property' once again being a criminal offence if someone has done this. However, under the Road Traffic Act 1998 a cat is not classified as 'legal property' making it legal for drivers to run them over without informing the police let alone the anxious owner. This is what I would like to change, I would like all cats to be recognised as legal property, this in turn will hopefully put loving cat owners' minds at rest, giving cats more of a chance to live their predicted lifespan.