Lost or stray pet cats are more likely to be reunited with their owners and returned home safely under new pet microchipping rules announced by the Government today.
99% of people support compulsory microchipping for cats according to recent Government consultation.
Under the new plans, all keepers must ensure their pet is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks and their contact details stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500.
The new microchipping rules follow a Government call for evidence and consultation on the issue in which 99% of respondents expressed support for the measure.
Owners will be required to microchip their cats by the time they reach 20 weeks of age.
The introduction of compulsory cat microchipping was a key manifesto commitment and the Government pledged to introduce it under its flagship Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
There are over 10.8 million pet cats in the UK, with as many as 2.8 million unchipped, meaning that it would be very difficult to reunite them with their owner if they get lost or stolen. Eight out of 10 stray cats coming into Cats Protection’s centres are not microchipped.
The simple procedure involves inserting a small chip with a unique serial number under a cat’s skin. This number can be read by a scanner and checked against a microchip database to help reunite lost pets quicker with their registered keeper, saving heartache and concern.