A council that cares for all, including our four legged friends.

If you are a pet owner your worst nightmare would be for them to go missing and in your efforts to find them you would put posters on lampposts, notes through neighbour’s doors, notify the local vets and the RSPCA. You want them back but, failing that, you want to know what has happened to them and if they have been injured or killed by a vehicle.

To try and ensure this happens all pet owners need to microchip their pet. Since April 1st this year it has been compulsory to have your dog microchipped to help return them to their rightful owners when lost, injured or killed. However it is not compulsory for cats to be microchipped. It is so important for owners of both dogs and cats to contact their vet or the PDSA and have these chips installed as soon as possible.

When animals are found injured or killed on UK roads there has been a campaign to get Councils to routinely scan cats and dogs for microchips so owners can be notified, but they are not required by law to do this.

South Derbyshire District Council (SDDC) is one of the local authorities who have shown they care about all in our community, including our four legged friends, and scans for microchips in both. Even in tight budget times SDDC has provided the money to ensure the staff have the equipment they need in order to scan for microchips. I want to congratulate them on the hard work they do and for showing such compassion by making sure this essential service to the community not only continues but includes our feline friends as well.

I also want to commend our local, and indeed national, animal rescue centres who do such a wonderful job helping find new homes for unwanted and unloved pets as well as being at the forefront of campaigns like microchipping. Without them animal welfare would be poorer and numerous families would not experience the joy having a loving pet brings.

As well as microchip scanning SDDC does a fantastic job providing all of the essential services we need in our day-to-day lives without having to constantly increase Council Tax as happens under so many Councils run by Labour. Indeed, Islington Council, where 49 out of 50 councillors are Labour, increases its Council Tax by the maximum allowed every year, whereas we have only had one increase since 2007.

Our South Derbyshire District Council has shown it really does care for all its residents, whether they have two legs or four, and is once again at the forefront of a change which will help it’s residents. Here’s to their continuing success story.

(This article was originally written for the Burton Mail).