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Vets applaud council decision to make microchipping of cats compulsory

News from NZVA
The Wellington City Council’s compulsory microchipping of cats [1] has been applauded by the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA), a member of the National Cat Management Strategy Group, as an important step forward in promoting animal welfare and responsible cat ownership.

Society is increasingly recognising that the wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment is inseparable. Responsible ownership of cats is a good example of this; and ensuring that these valued companions are identified is critical to protecting their wellbeing. Wellington City Council is showing leadership in helping to ensure that lost or injured cats are returned safely to their owners as soon as possible. It’s a decision that is good for cats, and good for their owners.

“Identification is a fundamental tool for improving the welfare of animals,” states Callum Irvine, Head of Veterinary Services at the NZVA. “The presence of a microchip is critical to enable veterinarians, welfare agencies and others to make appropriate decisions about the cats that are presented to them. This step by Wellington City Council will protect owned cats and will see us make gains in animal welfare in the region.”

Microchipping the capital’s cats will be supported by local veterinarians. “The NZVA’s position is that microchips should be implanted under best practice conditions by veterinarians. However in the interest of delivering this to the community, other appropriately trained implanters may be required,” added Callum Irvine.

The NZVA has been working with partners through the National Cat Management Strategy Group for two years to deliver a strategic framework to enable communities and government to address the issue of cat management in New Zealand. The Group has recognised that it is essential that cats are responsibly owned and identified, and is working towards all cats in NZ being microchipped and identified on a national data base.