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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.
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 head of Advocacy and Government Relations at Cats Protection Jacqui Cuff stated. “Without a Microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of the original owner.”
The new legislation was heavily backed in a recent government consultation in which 99% of respondents expressed support for the measure.
The commitment to microchipping is part of a wider Government effort to build on our existing world-leading standards and follows a number of recent announcements aimed at improving companion animal welfare, including tackling puppy smuggling in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and introducing a new pet abduction offence to crack down on theft.