HomeAnimal lawsMake it a legal requirement to report a road accident involving a cat


Make it a legal requirement to report a road accident involving a cat — 9 Comments

  1. With regard to the list of animals which drivers do have to report an accident with, it’s just occurred to me that they’re all livestock or working farm animals. The loss of which could have a financial impact on the owner and perhaps that’s why such accidents have to be reported.

    • I agree. It goes back to the idea of “possession” and “value” as if the animal is a inanimate object of financial value. This indicates how old-fashioned the current law is. It is badly out of date.

  2. This concept is great but would never happen here.
    It would never be thought of as reportable, because the fault of an injured or dead cat would be the blame of the owner for allowing their cat to free-roam.

    • Nice point. I suppose the concept of reporting is the creation of communal responsibilities. People supporting each other. Perhaps America is more about individual freedoms and responsibilities.

  3. I believe UK legislation considers cats to be “ferae naturae” as they can’t be trained or controlled in the same way as dogs. Since cats are unlikely to cause injury to people and livestock, or damage to property, they were granted roaming rights which exempt them from trespass laws.

    Dogs were not granted the same freedoms and that’s why they had/have to be licensed/registered. Dog owners are liable to pay compensation if their dog causes a car accident and it’s strongly recommended that owners take out public liability insurance cover for their pets. On the Wheels At Once web site, they state “When asked, more than 48% of people said that they would be prepared to sue a dog owner, whose dog caused an accident or injury, including a road traffic accident.”

    If the law were changed and drivers had to report hitting a cat on the road, then surely that would then make owners equally liable if their cat caused an accident? I don’t see how those changes could be brought into place without impinging on the cat’s right to roam and exemption from trespass.

    • Interesting thoughts. I think the bottom line is that our relationship with the cat has to be brought into the 21st century from a legal standpoint. Back in the old days cats were put out at night. They were almost community cats in the UK. Now they are family members and certainly equal to dogs. They should be on a par with dogs. I think this will raise the perceived value of cats. There may be some downsides but cats are still seen as of lower value than dogs, I feel.

      As for cats causing accidents, in practical terms, I don’t think it happens. Occasionally perhaps but to such a low extent as to be insignificant.

    • Yes, and it will increase the value in terms of status of the cat. If the cat can be killed willy-nilly without reporting it does indicate the cat has little value (by which I don’t mean monetary value but emotional value and status).

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