Emily Brown from Hayle, UK, has never seen so many cats killed by motorists

NEWS AND VIEWS - HAYLE, UK: Emily Brown is giving up on the human race. She has never seen so many cats killed on the roads in her seaside town. She is complaining about the motorists on the website of the newspaper Cornwall Live. And she is right to complain. She says the town is plagued by hit-and-run drivers killing people's companion cats. 

Emily Brown
Emily Brown. Photo provided by her.

They don't stop, she says. She was taught to treat others properly and decently and can't understand why drivers just carry on. A 20 mph speed limit is in operation in her town, as I understand it. But this doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of killing pets on the road.

Tourist town

It seems that the problem was caused, or certainly exacerbated, by a huge influx of tourists when the doors unlocked when the pandemic eased back and the government allowed freedom of movement. Emily Brown said:

"The world has gone mad with cars everywhere. The traffic has been bad anyway because of summer and all the tourists. I think we need a 20 is Plenty campaign here in Hayle."

She is concerned that one day a child will be hit and there have been some near misses. In the photograph she is standing on Trevassack Hill where an incident occurred. And she has regularly read about cats being killed on the road on Queensway which is a new estate near the Copper House public house.

Cats and kittens run over on the road are left where they died and she said that she is forced to deal with them. Recently she called one of her friends to help move a cat because she didn't want children to see the dead animal on the road. She has seen posts about missing cats in Hayle weekly and sometimes daily.

She also said:

"It makes me feel like I'm losing faith in humankind".

I completely understand that. She believes that at least drivers could do something and pick up the animals and try to find the owner or take the cat to a veterinarian to let them scan a microchip to find the owner. She has contacted the local police and local authority about providing road signage to tell people to slow down. Clearly drivers are not adhering to the 20 mph speed limit. I can understand that as well I'm afraid. The 20 mph speed limit is too slow for many people. They regularly break it.

It seems that the local authority will not put up new signage because of the cost. She said: "It's all to do with money, but that shouldn't be an excuse."

The other side of the coin

The other side of the coin needs to be mentioned: cat owners allowing their pets to roam freely over dangerous roads. If cat owners live near active roads they should keep their cat inside. Although the idea of full-time indoor cats is catching on in the UK there is resistance to it. The default is to let cats go outside unsupervised. There are two sides to this problem. We can't put all the blame on car drivers. Cat owners have a responsibility to keep their cats safe.

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