Discussions are taking place in parliament today on legislation to microchip pet cats.
By Jennifer Tierney.
Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham is leading the debate in the House of Commons.
In 2016, it became a legal requirement to microchip puppies over eight weeks old. To enforce the law, any dog scanned without a microchip now results in their owners facing a £500 fine.
MP Chishti is campaigning today to make it become a legal requirement for pet owners to microchip their cats to give them an equal status to pet dogs.
Leeds Cat Rescue are a charity in Leeds who pick up hundreds of stray cats annually.
“As companion animals, pet cats should be micro chipped as a legal obligation by their owners. Cat ownership should be taken as seriously as dog ownership,” said a spokesperson for the charity.
“Sadly 1000’s of pet cats are lost, killed or badly injured in road traffic accidents each year with a micro chip often the only chance of reuniting them with their owners.”
Amanda Clarke, 48, a health advisor from Leeds lost her cat Beauty.
“Our cat went missing for a whole week and we got really worried. We posted on Facebook and put up posters but the first thing people asked was if she was microchipped and it was such a big regret for us that she wasn’t,” said Clarke.
“She had a tag on her collar but they’re easily lost or taken off but a microchip cannot be removed. The first thing we did with our other cats and dogs is get them microchipped. It’s essential and I think we owe it to our pets to keep them safe.”
Leeds Cat Rescue encourage everyone to microchip their pets as it is often the only way to have them returned if they have been lost or injured.