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Britain’s cat owners may be forced to microchip their pets under new laws

Two stray cats cuddle up for warmth © Pixabay

A parliamentary consultation is due to take place which may see the microchipping of cats compulsory by law. Wardens will then be empowered to seize cats found without a chip.

By Nick Whittle, 5 Jan 2020

The government looks likely to uphold its manifesto promise to make the microchipping of cats compulsory. In September we wrote about a law the government intended to bring in as part of sweeping changes to animal welfare post-Brexit.

If brought into force, the law forces cat owners to chip their cats or face a fine if the animal is found by a warden un-chipped.

Writes The Express, Zac Goldsmith, Animal Welfare Minister, plans to meet with other civil servants on Saturday to discuss the matter. The intention is that an owned cat which is not chipped will be so and returned to its owner. The owner will then be told to pay the cost of the implant; if they do not, they will be fined.

Dog owners have been required by law to chip their pets since 2016. The owner of an unchipped dog found and impounded faces a fine of up to £500.

Dogs Trust research found a 15% reduction in the number of dogs homed by local authority shelters due to their being scanned and returned more quickly.

Implant and strays

The idea of the feline implant has gained favour in recent years due to the growing tide of stray cats in the UK. A chipped pet is more easily returned to its owner thus relieving the pressure on shelter populations. It is thought the idea of the fine may also be a deterrent to owners of cats who habitually leave their cat to wander the streets.

According to The Express Mr Goldsmith said, “Microchips are often the only hope of reuniting lost pets with their owners so it truly is the best New Year’s resolution you could make to protect your furry friend in 2020.

I urge cat owners to microchip their cat and for dog-owners to make sure the details on the chip are up to date.

The cat implant looks set to pass into law at some point this year.