A LAW which would ensure cats and dogs fitted with microchips are scanned before they are put to sleep - in memory of a Bury cat - has taken a step closer to reality.

Bury North MP James Daly presented a 10 Minute Rule Bill to the House of Commons yesterday, which would urge local authorities and vets act if such pets were chipped.

And the legislation, which will now get a second reading in Parliament on January 29, came about following a Bury Times report earlier this year on the fate of Gizmo, a tortoise-shell cat who was put down after being hit by car in 2016.

Heartbroken Helena Abrahams, from Fairfield, Gizmo's owner, was none the wiser though.

She has been campaigning, under the banner of 'Gizmo's Legacy'. for a change in the law ever since and began working with Mr Daly and his office earlier this year, having amassed more than 100,000 signatures via an online petition.

Under the new Gizmo's Law, which forms part of the MP's new bill, it will be a legal requirement for all local authorities, including Bury Council, to scan microchips of any deceased cats in order to reunite them with their owner.

Currently these animals are being cremated or sent to landfill, with little or no attempts apparently being made to reunite them with distressed owners.

Helena said: "We are just so glad to have such a passionate MP on board who is so determined to make Gizmo's Law happen"

This provision would work in tandem with another element of the legislation, known as Tuk's Law.

Shepherd dog puppy Tuk was rescued from the streets of Romania and fitted with a rescue backup chip on his arrival in the UK.

But after the pup was adopted his owners tried to sell him on Gumtree and was later also put down. His chip was never checked and a similar campaign to Gizmo's has been running.

Part of Tuk's Law would make it the law for vets to scan the microchip of any healthy or treatable animal being presented to be euthanised.

This is supposed to ensure any dog being brought to the vet for that purpose is being done so by its registered owner.

Under the current system, anyone can take any dog to a vet and demand it is put down, say Tuk's Law supporters.

MP Mr Daly said: "Animals become so much more than pets, they become members of our family – as I can attest with our new Labrador puppy, Bertie.

"And we must do all we can to protect them in the case of Tuk's Law.

"When, unfortunately, a tragic accident occurs, owners have a right to closure and that is why it is so crucial that we put Gizmo's Legacy into law."

Mr Daly praised the ongoing contributions of ardent campaigners like Helena, and fellow lobbyist Wendy Andrew, for all the hard work they had carried out in highlighting the need for such action in recent years.

A spokesman for the Tuk's Law campaign group added: "Who would’ve thought that one little rescued dog could have already made such a huge impact on so many and that through him, the lost lives of so many others will live on in a legacy to protect others."

Mr Daly told the Commons that while the checking of microchips, mandatory since 2016, was part of best practice guidance issued by the British Veterinary Association, it had been found in a number of cases this was being overlooked.