17th December 2021
The UK government is introducing a new law that if your cat is not microchipped you could face a £500 fine, it is aiming to create a database so if pets get lost or stolen they can be reunited with their owners once found. Under the new plans the government plan to introduce is all cat owners must ensure their pet is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks, once their pet is microchipped all contact details should then be stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database. If the owners are found not to have their pet microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted and they could also face a fine of up to £500 if they do not comply with the regulation.
The government hopes that inserting the small microchip with a unique serial number under the cats skin will help owners be reunited with their lost pets, the small microchip can be read by using a scanner that will be checked against the microchip database to read the owners details. The cost of microchipping is around £20-£30 and its not painful for the animal either.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
“Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.”
“These new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country and will be brought in alongside a range of other protections we are introducing under our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”
Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said:
“As the UK’s leading cat charity, we have been at the forefront of the campaign for compulsory microchipping of pet cats. Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who love them-whether its reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying a injured cat, or helping to ensure a owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car.”
“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection. Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”
Earlier this year the UK government worked with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to introduce new guidance which will require all vets to scan microchips of healthy dogs to help ensure they are not put down unnecessarily. In addition, the government is also carrying out a review of the regulations on dog microchipping and the related microchipping database systems to consider whether improvements can be made.
The new cat microchipping rules will be implemented once this review has completed to ensure that any changes to the operation of the microchipping regime are brought in at the same time as the new microchipping rules for cats.