• Pet Microchip Checks

    10 June 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about the compulsory scanning of microchips of dogs and cats which are found deceased and Gizmo’s law.

    To their owners, pets are cherished members of the family and I understand that their disappearance and deaths can cause a lot of distress.

    It is currently best practice for local authorities, as well as Highways England, to scan cats and dogs found on the streets so that the owner can be identified and informed, and I would encourage this action to take place where possible. I would also encourage veterinary practices and rehoming centres to scan cats and dogs brought to their premises. I am aware there are no current plans to make the scanning of animals mandatory, but I hope all local authorities are already taking this action.

    I am pleased that microchipping for dogs became compulsory for animals over eight weeks of age across England, Scotland and Wales in 2016. One year after the Government introduced this policy, the Dogs Trust reported a reduction of 18 per cent in the total stray dog population. In 2016, UK local authorities collected 81,000 strays, while in 2018 this fell to 56,000.

    I would encourage all cat owners to also make the sensible choice to microchip their felines, and to ensure that the relevant records are kept up to date. A microchip is a permanent form of identification and, as long as the details are kept up to date, you can always be contacted if your pet goes missing.

    Although the microchipping of cats is not compulsory, the Government has ensured that the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats contains advice about identifying cats, including by use of a microchip.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons