Thank you for contacting me about pet microchipping.
I am pleased that microchipping for dogs became compulsory for animals over eight weeks of age across England, Scotland and Wales in 2016 and statistics show that 92 per cent of dogs are now microchipped. As a result of compulsory microchipping, displaced dogs have been reunited with their owners much quicker, reducing the time they spend in rehoming kennels and reducing owner and animal distress.
It is hugely important that cats and kittens are also microchipped as this is often the only hope owners have of seeing their lost cat returned safely to their home. It is therefore welcome that the Government has now carried out a consultation and a call for evidence on the manifesto commitment to make it mandatory for pet owners to microchip their cats. I know that Ministers will respond to this consultation once its responses have been considered and I look forward to next steps being announced. In the meantime, I would encourage all cat owners to make the sensible choice to microchip their felines, ensuring relevant records are kept up-to-date.
Furthermore, I know that Ministers are also taking this opportunity to consider three separate mandatory scanning campaigns: Tuk’s Law, which would make it mandatory for vets to scan cats and dogs for microchips before putting them down; Fern’s Law, which would require vets to microchip cats and dogs when brought into a vet practice for the first time; and Gizmo’s Legacy to make it mandatory to scan for microchips when a cat or dog is found dead by the roadside.
This continues the renewed efforts by the Government to raise standards on animal welfare even further now we are outside the EU, including taking steps to end live animal exports, ban the practice of keeping primates as pets, and crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP