Microchipping to be Compulsory for Cats in the UK

This post first appeared on iCatCare here.

In may 2021 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced that microchipping will be compulsory for cats in the United Kingdom as part of an Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

The plan includes legislation to protect farm animals, pets, sporting animals and wild animals. The government is also considering reforms that will mean microchip database information is checked appropriately, changes which were campaigned for under ‘Tuk’s Law’.

International Cat Care (iCatCare) incorporated its thoughts during the scoping of these proposals into a document from the Canine and Feline Sector Group which advises DEFRA, the government department responsible for the manifesto.

Whilst iCatCare supports the move to microchip all pet cats, it is not without potential complications around timing, the position of unowned cats, the role of the veterinary profession and effective implementation; more detail on these concerns can be found in iCatCare’s previous statement, which can be read here.

Microchipping is a permanent method of identification that can be vital in reuniting cats with their owners should they stray, and, if implemented effectively, in ascertaining whether cats are owned and potentially speeding up the rehoming process for those which are recognised as being unowned. iCatCare is in agreement with both the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in affirming that microchipping of dogs and cats is safe and very rarely associated with any significant problems. However, for microchips to be effective, it is essential for owners to keep their details up to date.

More information about microchipping can be found by following the links below:

Microchipping Position Statement

Microchipping Advice Article

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