On 23rd September 2020, I introduced a Private Members' Bill to Parliament, to bring into law two extremely important campaigns.
Collectively amassing over 225,000 signatures on the Parliament Petitions website, Tuks Law and Gizmo's Law are both campaigns that aim to help pets and their owners - potentially saving animals from unnecessary euthanasia and reconnecting cat owners with their pets if they are found deceased by local authorities.
Gizmo's Legacy is a campaign that was set up, right here in Bury North, to ensure that Local Authorities are compelled to scan the microchips of deceased cats that are found on a road or a pavement or that are otherwise reported to the LA. This could be following a road traffic accident or just a cat that has been found. This campaign is so important because our pets are an extension of our family and may families across the UK find their cats have gone missing, many who have been involved in an accident and, unlike dogs, there is no requirement for these to be reported to the LA - nor is there a requirement for Local Authorities to scan a microchip to identify the owner.
My Private Members' Bill will ensure that Local Authorities do scan cats and search the database associated with the microchip to find ownership details to try and reunify the owners with their pet.
Tuk was a 16-month-old rescue who was euthanised on 22 December 2017. He was not scanned prior to euthanasia and his Rescue Back Ups were not contacted/notified of his death. Tuk was euthanised whilst having full rescue back up, dually registered contact details on his microchip and was presented by an individual who was not his registered keeper.
It is unconscionable that anyone could take any animal to a vet and ask that they be put down, without the vet checking to see whether the person presenting the animal is the owner, nor contacting the registered keeper of Rescue Back Up to advise them of this. Tuk's Law asked that vets are compelled to scan microchips and contact the registered keeper and rescue backups when a healthy and treatable animal is presented to them for euthanasia.
My Private Members' Bill will ensure that Vets scan microchips and make contact with registered keepers and Rescue Back Ups of healthy and treatable animals presented to them for euthanasia. It will also require Government-endorsed pet microchip databases regarding pets in England to indicate when a pet has both a registered owner and a back-up rescuer.
Due to the pandemic, the Bill’s second reading date has been delayed. I am hopeful we may still have the opportunity of Second Reading in this Parliamentary session. I will however, continue to work with all parties, including DEFRA, doing everything possible to get these important measures on the statute book.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a consultation relating to Microchipping - whilst some of this consultation relates to other aspects, the Department is also taking this opportunity to consult on the compulsory scanning of pets (dogs and cats) for microchips in certain situations. For example, prior to euthanasia or when a cat is reported to a Local Authority.
As you can see - this is exactly what my Private Members' Bill calls for - so please - complete the consultation using the button below!