A Swiss woman who has lost two cats on a local road (an autobahn) is calling for a law that fines and imprisons drivers who fail to stop and notify the police or who fail to stop and take action when they run over a cat on the road. It makes no difference if it is an accident.
Picture above: I presume Andrea is carrying an urn with the ashes of one of her cats or both of them.
The woman is Andrea Eichmann and one of her cats was named Spike. She lives in Winkel, Switzerland and autobahn no 51 runs nearby.
She has been through a tragedy in losing two cats on the road. On both occasions the driver did not stop and try and help to find the cat’s owner or at least do something about it such as call the police.
She is treating both accidents as hit and runs. She believes that if a driver fails to stop when they hit a cat, they should be prosecuted and on conviction fined 10,000 Franc (Swiss) and/or 3 years maximum in jail.
I can see her point. Thousands of cats are killed on roads in Europe and the USA every year. They are treated as accidents. I am sure some cats are killed deliberately. What I mean is the cat is sauntering over the road and the driver chooses to drive over the cat rather than around the cat. That sort of behavior suits cat haters. Most are caused by the cat darting out over the road at the wrong time.
My personal view is that if a person driving a car hits a cat that darts over the road and hurts him or kills him, the driver should stop and do their best to sort things out. That is the least they can do. It may be difficult emotionally and troublesome to find the cat’s caretaker or someone who knows who the caretaker is.
Unless there is evidence of malicious cat killing or injury I don’t think a driver should be prosecuted. The problem is enforcement. How do you find people who drive into cats accidentally and where is the proof?
I do believe though that the driver should stop and help. In practice I don’t see it happening nor do I see any chance of a change in the law, even in Switzerland, as requested by Andrea.
That said, Switzerland has some of the most advanced animal welfare laws in the world.
Source of story: My thanks to Marc for showing me the Swiss newspaper clipping which was vaguely translated by a colleague. If some details are incorrect, sorry, it was due to poor translation 😉
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