A campaign by Cats Matter has received the positive outcome that councils in Wales have agreed to scan all pets found by its workers.
A petition to the Welsh assembly called for it to be mandatory to check for microchips in pets found, dead or alive.
Mandy Lowe, from Cats Matter said: “We are ecstatic that all councils in Wales are on board with the scanning of cats, making them the world’s first all-scanning country. Given our campaign was initially born from our own experiences of having cats disposed of by the local council without being notified, we are thrilled that now owners in Wales won't have to endure the mental torment we went through.
“It's never going to be pleasant hearing your companion has sadly met this fate, but it will make a difference to be notified and have the opportunity to have their body back. Rather than walk the streets for weeks, months even, searching for a lost pet in vain, at least people will now get closure.
“We also believe that having the opportunity to bring their body home is extremely important to people so they can say goodbye properly, process the tragedy, and lay them to rest at home where they belong.
“We hope that this news will encourage responsible cat ownership, and people microchip their cats and ensure details are kept up to date. Microchipping is such an inexpensive, quick and pain free procedure, yet will make all the difference should a cat get lost, injured or sadly worse.”
The petition stated that Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, Gwynedd, Neath Port Talbot and Newport councils did not routinely scan animals, and the rest did when they deem the animal is in a state to do so.
The petition has resulted in councils voluntarily looking at practices, and the six that previously did not have begun scanning, or are looking at new policies.
Mandy added: “We hope this result will encourage others to opt for a scanning approach, if they don't already. We are still working with the remaining local authorities in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and are hopeful we can achieve the result of all UK councils having a scanning procedure in place.
“We believe that cats, as family members, deserve to be treated with dignity in death and it is only right that those with the difficult job of retrieving their bodies from the roadside are tasked with treating them with respect, not on par with general waste. We are extremely thankful to all councils in Wales for standing up and collectively creating a new animal rights record for others to aspire to.”
For more information, visit www.catsmatter.org