Cat owners in Birmingham warned to ‘act now’ or face £500 fine

Cat owners have been warned of a looming change to the law that could land them with hefty fines. From June 10 all cats must be microchipped and registered once they are 20 weeks old.

Otherwise, owners could be hit with a £500 fine. Local authorities will also have the power to confiscate cats, microchip them and then return them to the owner with a bill.

Recent figures show that 25% of cats, almost three million, are not currently microchipped. Once the new law is enforced, owners found without their cat’s microchip will have just 21 days to comply.

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For veterinary practices, animal welfare organizations and local councils, it can be incredibly difficult to reunite unchipped pet cats with their owners if they go missing or have been stolen. Microchipping is an inexpensive procedure and is fairly simple and quick to do and can save owners the pain of never getting their cats back or never having closure should the worst happen. Chipping could even save a cat’s life.

Cats injured on the road often end up being euthanized with simple cuts and bruises, simply because no owner can be located with a microchip. Cats Matter said: “When we say it could be a matter of life and death, we’re not kidding.”

How do cats get microchipped?

The microchipping process involves the quick, simple and painless insertion of a chip, generally the size of a grain of rice, under the skin. The microchip has a unique serial number that the holder must register in a database.

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