Harvey's Law

Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the 'Harvey's Law' campaign in connection with animal deaths on the roads:


"Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the way in which animal deaths on the roads are dealt with and the related 'Harvey's Law' campaign.

Sadly a number of domestic animals are killed or injured on our roads each year and I share your concern that in some cases owners are not informed about the death of their pets. It is very difficult to lose a pet but when canine fatalities do occur on the road network, I believe both the animals and their owners should be treated with the respect they deserve.

The Highways Agency's Network Management Manual sets out procedures for a number of Highways Agency area maintenance contracts for notifying owners of canines that are killed on the roads. However, adherence to these procedures is not enforced through legislation and, in response to the requirements of the Government's Spending Review 2010, the Highways Agency awarded a new type of contract, an Asset Support Contract - which has led to the removal of mandatory policy for handling canine fatalities.

I appreciate and share your frustration that there is currently no standardised procedure for identifying, recording and managing animal fatalities across the road network. I believe there should be consistency across the Highways Agency, its contractors, local authorities and the police in how these cases are handled.

As you know, the Harvey's Law e-petition has been signed by over 100,000 people making it eligible for consideration for a Backbench Business Debate which took place on 2 March 2015.  Although I was not present for this debate I read the transcript of the debate with interest and was pleased to note that, following questioning from Labour MPs, the Government Minister confirmed that: new contracts will make scanning for microchips mandatory, a review will apply to existing contracts, and the requirements will be extended to cats.  A record of the proceedings is available to download from the Parliamentary website here.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.

Yours sincerely,

Dawn Primarolo

Labour MP for Bristol South"


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