Posted: Mon 4th Mar 2024

Senedd: Questions raised over plans and timescales for introducing microchipping of cats for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

With compulsory microchipping of cats set to be introduced in England from June, North Wales MS Mark Isherwood has called on the Welsh Government to indicate when it is likely to be introduced in Wales.

Earlier this month, Mr Isherwood joined fellow politicians at a Cats Protection Senedd reception to discuss how compulsory microchipping of pet cats would significantly improve feline welfare in Wales.

Questioning the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths MS, in Wednesday’s meeting of the Welsh Parliament, he said that 156,800, or 28 per cent, of owned cats in Wales are still not microchipped, “a figure that, according to Cats Protection research, has stagnated for the past several years”.

He therefore called on the Minister to outline what plans and timescales the Welsh Government has for introducing and monitoring compulsory microchipping.

Speaking in the Senedd Chamber, he said:

“Microchipping cats in Wales is not currently compulsory, unlike in England, where, from 10 June 2024, cats will need to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they’re 20 weeks’ old.

“The Welsh Government’s Animal Welfare Plan for 2021-26 says that ‘In partnership with the UK and Scottish Governments, we have commissioned research on the effectiveness of existing dog microchipping regulations. The research will also report on the potential benefits of the compulsory microchipping of kittens and cats’.

“One of the action points in this plan states that Welsh Government would ‘consider extending compulsory microchipping to include kittens and cats’, and also ‘consider, dependent upon the outcome of the research and consultation, new microchipping regulations for dogs and cats in Wales’.

“So, given that this is now 2024, what did the research and consultation conclude, how is that shaping the Welsh Government’s policy, and what plans and timescales, if any, do you have for introducing and monitoring compulsory microchipping?”

Responding, the Minister said “it will be within the Animal Welfare Plan timescales, so that’s obviously before 2026”.

She added that “it’s unlikely that it will be this year”.

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