LEGISLATION that would make it law to have a pet cat microchipped is set to be introduced ‘in the coming weeks’, according to a government minister.
Transport minister Richard Holden (Con, North West Durham) told a Parliamentary debate the proposals would be brought before MPs after a consultation process was held into the move last year.
He told the debate: “In the last few years, we have pushed microchipping. It is the best way of reuniting owners with pets that have been tragically killed, stolen or had a variety of other issues.
“Since the introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs in 2016, over 90% of the dog population has been microchipped. That has been particularly successful in increasing reunification rates for stray dogs.”
He added that the consultation over compulsory microchipping had received 99% favourable responses.
“We are committed to introducing it, and we will lay the legislation for England before Parliament in the coming weeks,” he said.
Mr Holden said the move would help reunite cats injured or killed on UK roads with their owners.
However, he stopped short of backing calls for a law to be introduced making it an offence for drivers not to report collisions involving animals such as cats.
“In 2021, there were 348 reported road collisions in which both an animal and a person were involved directly,” he told the debate.
“That is just an animal and a person. If we were talking about hundreds of thousands of cases, there would be a huge extra impact and administrative burden, especially given the free-roaming nature of cats.
“It is for that reason that the Government do not plan at present to make it a legal requirement for drivers to stop and report collisions with cats.”
Tonia Antoniazzi (Lab, Gower), the shadow minister for Northern Ireland, said: “I am 51 years of age, and we have always had a pet in the family – I know how much it hurts to lose a pet.
“I thank the minister for what he said about the legislation on compulsory microchipping that will be introduced in the coming weeks.”