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Petty cash: Cat owners could face £500 microchip fine from June

Petty cash: Cat owners could face £500 microchip fine from June
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Cat owners who do not have their pet microchipped by 10 June could receive a £500 fine, following new Government legislation.

After that date, all felines in England need to have a microchip so they can be added to the national database to comply with the new rules.

Any kittens over the age of 20 weeks need to be microchipped by a vet, local rescue service or rehoming centre. Dogs must be fitted with a microchip and registered by the time they are eight weeks old.

Once your pet is microchipped, they are tracked, so if they get lost, vets can use the essential information stored on the chip to contact you when they’re found.

Your details to include in the microchip are:

  • Pet’s unique ID number
  • Name and home address
  • Mobile number
  • Email address

You can get your cat (or dog) microchipped in many Government-approved locations, including Microchip Central, National Veterinary Data Service and Track Your Paws.

A quarter of cat owners could face fine

Prices for the microchip usually cost £10-30, according to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). However, around a quarter (22%) of UK cats are still not microchipped, meaning their owners could be hit with a fine after 10 June should they remain so.

The Government has also warned that it is the owners’ responsibility to update the details on the microchip should you, for example, move house.

Meanwhile, pet owners will want to dodge any fine, particularly as they are already paying over the odds for veterinary prices, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Its report into the industry described the current system in place as “outdated” and the competition as “weak”.

Rhys Jones, a spokesperson of GoCompare, has urged “as many cat owners as possible to get their cats booked in to be microchipped.”

Microchip is vital to rescue lost pets

Jones said: “As well as the risk of a fine, should the worst happen and your pet becomes lost or stolen, it makes it very hard to reunite them with their owner unless they’re microchipped.“

“Losing a pet is a traumatic experience – whether your cat hasn’t returned home, or your dog has run off and you can’t find them. But if someone does find your pet, and then takes them to a vet, they can find your details with a quick scan of its microchip.”

Jones added: “Since 2016, puppies have to be microchipped by eight weeks of age and registered with the breeder as the first keeper. The microchip number and details of the dog must be registered on a Government-compliant database.”