This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Harvey's Army - Compulsory Microchip Scanning of Deceased Pets Found on railways

Harvey's Army fully support Rory’s Mandate - To ensure that any domestic pet found on or by the tracks governed by Network Rail or Network Rail Infrastructure Limited is scanned for a microchip, details documented and the owners notified in a timely manner.

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Rory was lost on the 3rd Dec 16. On the 4th Dec 16 his disappearance was reported to Network Rail and a reference number was given. On the 14th Dec 16 the family were informed by Network Rail that their Track Walker who saw the 'missing' article in the newspaper had discovered Rory and buried him trackside on the 6th Dec 16. Rory was microchipped and registered with Network Rail as missing so if he had been scanned at the time, days of anguish and heartache could have been avoided.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

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Government responded

This response was given on 23 January 2017

Network Rail uses specialist contractors to remove animal fatalities found on or by the rail tracks.These contractors scan for domestic pet microchips and notify the owners where details are available

Read the response in full

The process by which Network Rail manages domestic animal fatalities is outlined for its employees and contractors in its internal operations procedure which is adhered to by all of the railway company’s routes.

Specialist contractors, who vary dependent on route and geographical location, are alerted to incidents of animal fatalities by Network Rail’s operators or maintenance teams via the respective route’s control. These contractors are required under operating procedures to remove and scan for microchips any domestic pet fatalities found on Network Rail’s infrastructure.

Provided that the animal’s body is in a suitable state to be scanned and that details are available on the national database of microchipped domestic pets, owners will be contacted and given the option to collect the deceased pet’s body if they wish.

Network Rail’s operation process states that contractors must allow owners one hour for a response before they take actions to dispose of the animal, however, in practice contractors do extend this window significantly due to sensitivity and practicality, often allowing owners a few days for collection.

Incidents of domestic animal fatalities are not formally recorded by Network Rail’s contractors. Nevertheless, a recent review by Network Rail of the information held by these contractors estimates that microchips have been found on deceased animals on 15 of 70 occasions where specialist contractors have responded to animal fatalities over the course of their contract respective periods.

Finally, with specific regard to the tragic loss of Rory who was lost on the 3rd December 2016, Network Rail regret that on this occasion proper procedure was not followed through the notification of control, and so the specialist contractor team was not alerted. Network Rail has extended its sincere apologies, and is determined to further improve awareness around the reporting procedures for animal fatalities on the company’s infrastructure.

Department for Transport