Campaigners have welcomed a proposal to introduce new laws to protect cats.

Cats Matter has been campaigning to reduce the number of incidents where cats are run-over and left to die at the side of the road.

Now the not-for-profit organisation has welcomed a proposal by the Labour Party to introduce new legislation requiring motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured.

The Animal Welfare Manifesto was launched by MP Sue Hayman last week.

Mrs Hayman, who is shadow environment secretary as well as MP for Workington, said she wanted the UK to become world leader on animal rights.

Last month Cats Matter co-founder Mandy Lowe met with Mrs Hayman to discuss the new proposal.

A spokesman for the organisation said: "We are very excited to report that MP Sue Hayman found the proposed legislation written by Cats Matter a perfectly feasible approach, from a totally different angle than ever introduced before. She even went as far as to offer praise for taking such a different tactic than any campaign before and never relenting, despite all our setbacks over the years. Based on this, she willingly agreed to push this forward into new legislation on behalf of Cats Matter.

"Currently Sue is reviewing our draft legislation alongside DEFRA and top Labour officials and our plans are being put into motion. It has taken over three years of actual blood, sweat and tears to reach this point, and we are overjoyed to have made it this far and finally feel like we have been heard."