A pet insurance company is urging people to sign an online petition calling for changes in the way dogs killed on roads are dealt with.

The Highways Agency is phasing out a procedure that identifies dogs that have been run over and informs their owners, the police and dog wardens. By July, this will no longer be a requirement.

An online petition called Harvey’s Law – which calls for the system to be reinstated – has so far attracted nearly 85,000 signatures and Agria Pet Insurance is urging people to sign it.

The company’s managing director Simon Wheeler said: “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.”

Shaun Robertson and Jude Devine set up the petition after their dog was killed on a motorway the same day it ran away, and no one told them. They searched for three months for the two-year-old miniature poodle, Harvey, until eventually finding out what had happened. He had been wearing a tag and was microchipped.

Harvey’s Law would give authorities and contractors set guidelines on 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.

Harvey’s Law trustee Karen Blackburn said: “Considering the Government’s implementation of compulsory microchipping in 2016 to tackle the problem of stolen and stray pets, the fact it has removed its own procedure to reunite owners, even if it’s bad news, is appalling.”

Agria is also highlighting the importance of pet ID. All its new policies include free membership of Pet 24 – a visual identification service designed to go hand-in-hand with microchipping.

As a member, a dog wears 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.

Mr Wheeler said: “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 policyholders 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 it and won’t have to suffer as Harvey’s owners did.”

To sign the petition for Harvey’s Law, visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62490 or www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Law/1464192920498830

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