30 November 2016
The Minister for Infrastructure has approved an amendment to the Jersey Highway Code so that in the event of a traffic incident or accident causing harm, damage, injury or death to a cat, the person involved should contact the Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) immediately so that a pet ambulance can be dispatched to the scene of the accident.
At the end of 2015, there was publicity over alleged cruel treatment of a cat which had been run over and euthanised at the side of the road by the driver. Subsequently a petition of more than 3,000 names was drawn up calling for measures to ensure the welfare of cats in these kind of circumstances.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) discussed the matter with relevant parties and it was acknowledged that the Animal Welfare (Jersey) Law 2004 exists to protect all domestic animals, including cats, from cruelty. It is a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal without reasonable cause or excuse. However there was an issue about the duty to report an incident and this responsibility is now being addressed with this amendment to the Highway Code. The amended code will be distributed before the end of the year.
Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel, said “The Highway Code will explain that anyone involved in harming a cat in a road incident should inform the JSPCA as soon as possible so that they can provide assistance. I would like to thank the JSPCA for their involvement in this new requirement and I hope cat owners will get some comfort from this.”
Contact the JSPCA on +44 1534 724331 or +44 7797 720331 out of hours.