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MP submits bill to provide legal protection for cats

A cat from a sanctuary in Gillingham, Kent Photo: ITV Meridan

An MP in Kent is spearheading a campaign to provide more legal protection for domestic cats.

It is thought that there are 11 million pet cats in the UK but, unlike dogs, there is no obligation to microchip them or inform the police after they have been found injured in a road accident.

Gillingham MP, Rehman Chrishti, has tabled a bill in parliament hoping to ensure that cats and dogs are treated the same.

A second commons reading of the bill will take place at the end of November.

"We welcome the Cats Bill if it makes it a legal requirement in England for owners to microchip their cats.

"Although we would welcome this proposal, we do have some concerns about the Bill which states that only 'certain cats' would be microchipped. We would like to see all cats microchipped and their details kept up-to-date. Dog microchipping works because it covers all dogs. This ensures it is easy for drivers to report when they injure or kill a dog.

"The RSPCA also feels further clarification is needed on how compulsory microchipping and the reporting of incidents will be enforced. Currently, it is not a legal requirement to report to the police, or anyone else, if you hit a cat with your car and it is injured or killed. But if a requirement is brought in it needs to be enforceable and work properly.

"Whilst we would like to see all pets microchipped, it is also important to understand the impact and any issues around compulsory microchipping in dogs before new legislation, such as that proposed by the Cats Bill, is developed."

– A spokesperson for the RSPCA

Our reporter, Tom Savvides went to meet Natasha McPhee who runs a cat centre in Gillingham.

You can find out more about MP Rehman Chishti's bill here.