Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Date set for mandatory cat microchipping
Cats will need to be microchipped before the age of 20 weeks.
New rules will come into force next year. 

The Government has announced that microchipping will be made compulsory for owned cats in England from 10 June 2024.

According to the new legislation being introduced to Parliament this week, owners will have to ensure that their cat is microchipped before the age of 20 weeks and that their contact details are kept up to date in the pet microchip database.

Owners of cats who are found not to have a microchip will be given 21 days to get one or face a fine of up to £500. Research by Cats Protection suggests that 2.3 million cats in England are currently not microchipped out of a population of more than nine million.

Microchipping will not be mandatory for cats which have little or no human interaction or dependency, such as community, farm, or feral cats.  

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, said: “I am pleased that we are progressing with our requirement for all cats to be microchipped.
“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost pets. As we’ve seen with dog microchipping, those who are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner.”

Dogs have been legally required to be microchipped since April 2016 and since then animal welfare organisations have campaigned for similar rules to be introduced for cats. Both the RSPCA and Cats Protection welcomed the confirmation that microchipping cats would become a legal requirement in England.

Davied Bowles, head of campaigns and public affairs at the RSPCA, said: “Microchipping dogs has been mandatory for many years, so to finally see the same law and protections being applied to cats is a huge step forward for feline welfare.

“We have seen innumerable stories of non-microchipped cats that have been hit by a car or strayed who never get reunited with their owner, as well as the happy stories where cats have been reunited with their owners by our dedicated RSPCA officers thanks to this tiny chip. We are hopeful that now we will see more happy stories than sad ones.”

Madison Rogers, head of advocacy, campaigns and government relations at Cats Protection, said: “After many years of campaigning, Cats Protection is delighted that cats in England will finally be given the same protection as dogs when it comes to microchipping.”

However, she also expressed the charity’s disappointment that the new law would not cover the whole of the UK: “While this is brilliant news for cat welfare, the new law will only apply in England, risking cats in the rest of the UK being left behind. Animal lovers will rightly want to see cats given the same protection in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so we’re urging politicians to work quickly to make sure this happens as soon as possible.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Duchess of York stars in charity calendar

The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) has released its charity calendar for 2024, featuring Sarah, Duchess of York and a selection of the retired service animals the charity supports.

The 12 images were taken by animal photographer Gerry Slade and include retired police dogs and horses, a former border force detector dog, and a retired fire investigation and urban search and rescue dog.

Sarah, Duchess of York, who is a patron of the charity, appears alongside retired police dog Jessie in the photograph for December.

So far this year, the charity has given more than 40,000 in grants to help former service animals with their veterinary care. After retirement, they receive no financial support from the Government and obtaining affordable insurance can be difficult.