Natasha Asghar MS joined fellow politicians at a Senedd reception to discuss how compulsory microchipping of pet cats would significantly improve feline welfare in Wales.
Cats Protection hosted the event as part of its campaign for the Welsh Government to introduce the measure, which is due to become law in England later this year.
The reception on 6 February was an opportunity for MSs to find out more about compulsory microchipping and lend their support to the campaign.
Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Wales Daryl Gordon said: “It has been a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped in the UK since 2016 and from June this year, it will apply to cats too, but only in England.
“We don’t want to see Wales lag behind in this important feline welfare issue, so we’re urging the Welsh Government to act now to introduce the measure.
“Microchipping is a vital part of responsible cat ownership, ensuring cats can quickly be returned home if they’re lost and making it easier for rescue charities to help stray cats.
“We were thrilled to welcome so many MSs to our event, and it’s great to see politicians taking an interest in feline welfare. We’ll continue to work with politicians to push this measure forward.”
Natasha Asghar MS said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet the fantastic Cats Protection Team to find out more about the work they are doing, particularly around campaigning to make microchipping compulsory in Wales.
“Animal welfare is incredibly important and I look forward to working with the charity as they continue to push the Welsh Government to act.”
Figures from Cats Protection’s Cats and Their Stats report 2023 shows that a quarter of cats in Wales – around 180,000 – are currently not microchipped.
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity and has helped an average of 157,000 cats and kittens a year over the last five years through its national network of 210 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.