From June 2024, all cats in England must be microchipped. This legislation was announced by the Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in March 2023 after many years of campaigning from UK animal charities.
The Government’s announcement means that all pet cats in England must be microchipped before they reach 20 weeks of age, and registered on a DEFRA-compliant microchip database, such as HomeAgain®. Owners are advised to comply before the deadline to avoid a potential £500 fine.
Why the new legislation?
The PDSA 2022 PAW report suggested there are more than 11 million cats (11.1 million), with only 76% of cats bring microchipped (2.66 million cats not microchipped) 1, meaning there are over 2 million cats that would be difficult to reunite with their rightful owners, if they ever got lost or stolen.
The new legislation will make reuniting lost or stray cats with their owners easier, as all cats will have a microchip that can be scanned by an animal professional, and then looked up on a microchip database to find the owner’s contact details.
Is microchipping safe?
A microchip is a permanent method of identifying a pet. Each microchip stores a unique and unalterable 15-digit identification number. The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary where the chip is located to transmit the microchip’s unique identification number to positively identify the pet.
Veterinary surgeons have been implanting microchips in animals for many years. Long-term use and extensive testing have proven them to be very safe.
What do I need to do?
- If your cat isn’t microchipped, book an appointment with your vet to discuss microchipping your cat.
- If your cat is already microchipped and registered on a microchip database, then you don’t need to do anything.
- If you aren’t sure which microchip database they are registered on, you can use the free microchip search tool at HomeAgain.co.uk. Simply type in your pet’s microchip number and it will show you which database you’re registered with.
Registering your cat on a microchip database is just as important as getting the microchip implanted, and choosing the right microchip database is important, as they store your personal data, and may charge you when you want to update it.
Why choose HomeAgain as your microchip database?
HomeAgain is a pet recovery service dedicated to the protection, wellbeing and safe recovery of your lost pet. HomeAgain is a free-of-charge pet recovery database and supplier of a range of microchips, including Thermochip. By choosing a HomeAgain microchip and registering on the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Database, you and your pet have access to a suite of benefits such as:
- Free & easy registration and updates – forever!
- All microchips welcome into database
- 24/7 UK-based to help if your pet gets lost
- Pet owner data never sold or shared
- Regular reminders to check contact details
For more information please visit homeagain.co.uk
1: PDSA Paw Report 2022