Unlike dogs, microchipping pet cats is not compulsory. However, many animal welfare organisations are pushing for this to be made law. We find out more...
Posted: 04 March 2020
Since April 2016, all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped – it’s been mandatory in Northern Ireland since 2012. Owners who don’t comply could face a hefty fine. The value of this, providing that details are kept up to date, is that it’s much easier to reunite lost pets with their worried owners.
The UK’s biggest cat charity, Cats Protection, argues that microchipping should become a legal requirement for owned cats, as it already is for dogs. Currently, eight out of 10 stray cats taken in by the charity’s Adoption Centres in England are not microchipped, making it virtually impossible to trace an owner.
Reporting on the impact that the compulsory microchipping of dogs has had, Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, states: “Battersea believes passionately in the value of microchipping. We have seen the benefits of compulsory microchipping first-hand at our centres – in 2018 we reunited 892 dogs with their keepers, the overwhelming majority of which were accurately microchipped. This figure is impressive when compared to the 475 we were able to reunite in 2015, before the microchipping of dogs was made compulsory.”
So, what do animal welfare charities think about compulsory microchipping for felines? It seems there’s an overwhelming thumbs up for it to be made law:
MICROCHIPPING – WHAT’S INVOLVED?
A pet microchip is a tiny computer chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice. It contains a unique code that matches up to your pet’s details. The microchip is then linked to a central database that holds all the details of the pet and the owner. Microchipping is a quick and simple procedure. The chip is inserted under an animal’s skin, usually around the scruff of the neck, using a needle. It takes seconds. Pets can be checked for a microchip using a handheld electronic device, called a scanner. When this is waved over the pet’s neck, the scanner will recognise the unique information held inside the chip. A microchip is a permanent form of identification. As long as the details are kept up to date, you can always be contacted if your pet goes missing.
Source: Blue Cross
Cats Protection has welcomed an announcement from the Government that it will launch a consultation into introducing compulsory microchipping of pet cats. If you’d like to sign the charity’s petition calling on Government to introduce laws to ensure all owned cats are microchipped, please visit cats.org.uk/microchippingpetition.
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Sources: gov.uk, rcvs.org.uk, bdch.org.uk, icatcare.org, cats.org.uk, rspca.org.uk, bluecross.org.uk