Cat owners could face fines or prosecution if they don’t implant microchips into their pets under rules proposed by British officials, the Daily Mail of London reported. The British government is reportedly planning to force microchips in cats to accept the same safety measures as dogs. Officials believe the move will help combat cat theft and will be able to identify pets who have been injured or killed on the road.
In 2016, the UK launched a policy that would have led to a controversial fine of 500 pounds if dog owners failed to comply. This time, officials are calling on cat owners to implant microchips before they carry out mandatory measures after official consultation. The consultation is investigating the impact of forced behaviour on cat owners, rescue centres and cats. The deadline for collecting data is January 4, 2020.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: “The government has been urging cat owners to become responsible owners and plant chips for their pets. For now, the government will step up mandatory action to reassure owners that their pets will not be stolen or injured or killed on the road. “
Animal Welfare Minister Goldsmith added: “Microchips are often the only hope of reuniting lost pets with their owners, so this is really the best New Year’s resolution for the public to protect their pets in 2020.” “
Since the mandatory implantation of chips for dogs, 92 percent of dogs have implanted chips, the report said. The rule currently applies only to cats participating in the Pet Travel Program.