The current conservative government is considering introducing legislation making it compulsory for all cat owners to microchip their cats subject to a fine of £500 if they fail to do so before the kitten is eight weeks old.
This is part of a number of proposed bills to be introduced during the next parliament provided they are still in power. Politics in Britain is both fragile and some say toxic at present. Other proposals include:
- Banning the sale of primates as pets
- Banning long journeys for animals being taken for slaughter. This includes banning live exports.
- Banning the import and export of trophy hunt trophies of endangered animals. There is an increase in trophy hunting mainly in Africa by Brits. It is quite objectionable in my opinion. The reason is that it has become affordable for anyone with a bit of money. That’s due to the work of those agencies in Africa who promote the business.
Comment: the proposal for UK-wide compulsory cat microchipping is interesting as this has been proposed in many jurisdictions. It is often discussed by local authorities in the USA for example.
The objective is to reduce the number of unwanted cats by improving the standard of cat care. And also to reduce the number of lost and abandoned cats because microchipping (1) links an abused cat to his owner and (2) facilitates the reunion of lost cat and owner.
The weakness of compulsory microchipping is (1) a failure to update the information on the chip and (2) enforcing the law to ensure that cat owners universally comply with it. How do you successfully enforce a law making cat microchipping compulsory?
What if a person failed to do it? And what if the cat was never taken to a veterinarian? No one knows who owns the cat or if the cat is owned unless there is an observant and concerned neighbour involved. There are too many domestic cats to ensure that a decent percentage are microchipped. Legislation like this introduced in Australian jurisdictions have had a poor take up. What I mean is that a low percentage of cat owners comply with the law.
It is quite possible but I have no evidence of it that these animal welfare policies origin in part with Carrie Symonds, Boris Johnson’s girlfriend. She is very much concerned with the environment (there are environmental policies too) and animals weflare. It is the first time I have noticed a government making animal welfare a relatively high priority objective.
Source: various sites including: news.sky.com.