The Government is seeking views on introducing compulsory cat microchipping in England, which could be introduced as early as this year.
An eight-week public consultation on the proposal to make it mandatory for pet owners to microchip their cats was launched on December 23 and is seek views from vets, owners and members of the public as part of a renewed effort to further raise the UK’s world-leading animal welfare standards.
It is estimated that over a quarter of the UK’s pet cats aren’t microchipped, meaning that up to 2.6 million cats will benefit from the new measures.
Since compulsory dog microchipping was introduced in 2016, around nine million dogs are now microchipped, meaning that thousands of displaced dogs have been reunited with their owners more quickly, reducing the time they spend in rehoming kennels and reducing owner and animal distress.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “It is hugely important that cats and kittens are microchipped as this is often the only hope owners have of seeing their lost cat returned safely to their home.
“These plans to make cat microchipping compulsory build on our actions to improve our already world leading animal welfare standards, including taking steps to end live animal exports and ban the practice of keeping primates as pets.”