Every new policy taken out with Agria Pet Insurance includes free membership of Pet 24 – a visual identification service designed to go hand-in-hand with microchipping. And considering the current high-profile e-petition for ‘Harvey’s Law’, using a service such as Pet 24 could be more helpful than ever.
The Highways Agency is currently phasing out a procedure that identifies dogs found killed on the road and informs their owners, the police and dog wardens. By July 2015, this will no longer be a requirement. This is despite the fact that in April 2016 compulsory microchipping comes into force, making most dogs instantly identifiable by scanning.
Harvey’s Law seeks to reinstate this procedure by gaining over 100,000 e-signatures to trigger eligibility for a Commons debate.
The charity behind the e-petition, Harvey’s Army, was founded by Nina Blackburn after the dog belonging to her good friends, Shaun Robertson and Jude Devine, was killed on the motorway the day he ran away. But despite wearing a tag and being microchipped, when his body was recovered by the Highways Agency, his owners weren’t informed. This meant they searched tirelessly for their two-year-old miniature poodle for three months before eventually finding out what had happened.
The Highways Agency comments that after July 2015 contractors ‘may’ still try to identify dogs, record their details and get in touch with owners. But as this is not enforceable, all owners can do is make it as easy as possible for their dog to be identified – and hope the person finding them takes more care than in Harvey’s case.
Agria recommends using a specialist lost and found service, like Pet 24. As a member, dogs wear a clear and visible tag that gives the number of the 24-hour dedicated service. Also on the tag, the dog’s unique code links it via the Pet 24 database to its owner – making it as easy as possible for anyone finding a dog to immediately hand over responsibility for telling the owner. Pet 24 can also authorise veterinary care, if necessary.
Without obligatory scanning, a tag could boost the chances of being informed and prevent owners from endlessly hoping their dog will return. Harvey’s Law would make this a given, rather than just a hope, with Highways Agency departments following set guidelines when finding an animal by the roadside. These would include compulsory scanning, the filing and circulating of log reports to police and dog wardens, and photographs taken and retained for identification purposes.
Trustee of Harvey’s Law, Karen Blackburn, says, “Considering the Government’s implementation of compulsory microchipping in 2016 to tackle the problem of stolen and stray pets, the fact that they have removed their own procedure to reunite owners, even if it’s bad news, is appalling.”
Simon Wheeler, Managing Director of Agria Pet Insurance says, “When our pets are unwell we worry. But when a pet is missing, the ‘not knowing’ is unbearable. That’s why we support the Harvey’s Law campaign and urge people to sign the online petition to play their part in changing legislation.”
“If we can only rely on an individual’s goodwill to get in contact via our pet’s tag, we have to make that option as easy and effective as possible. As well as helping with the advertising costs and offering a reward to try to find a lost pet, we give our policy holders free membership of Pet 24 to give them a level of reassurance that, should their pet go missing, have an accident, or sadly, even worse, they have the best chance of finding them, and won’t have to suffer as Harvey’s owners did.”
To sign the petition for Harvey’s Law, please visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62490, or see www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Law/1464192920498830
Notes for editors:
Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal, equine and agricultural insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent player in the UK pet insurance sector. Agria UK works with vets, breeders and affiliates providing insurance for cats and dogs. Agria also administrates pet insurance schemes for the leading small animal registration bodies, The Kennel Club and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).
Membership of Pet 24 is included with every Agria Pet Insurance, Kennel Club Pet Insurance and GCCF Pet Insurance policy extended from a 4 Weeks Free policy.