Two Dutch cities to introduce mandatory microchipping for cats
Two municipalities in the Netherlands will become the first to introduce a mandatory microchipping rule for all cats in 2021.
Mandatory microchipping in Amsterdam and Alphen aan den Rijn
If you live in Amsterdam or in Alphen aan den Rijn, you might want to make sure that your beloved feline friend has been chipped, because a new rule will mean all cats in the area will have to be microchipped.
In the Netherlands, all dog-owners are already required to make sure their pet is microchipped, but the same rule doesn’t exist for cats - yet. The Ministry of Agriculture is considering introducing it, with these two cities trialling the rule to determine its success: “If the trial is successful, other municipalities may also require cat owners to have a chip installed,” says Carola Schouten, The Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
There are around 2,6 million domestic cats in the Netherlands, and tens of thousands of them live in the Amsterdam or Alphen aan den Rijn areas. It costs 30 euros to microchip your cat, and the municipality of Amsterdam has introduced a pass which will allow anyone who cannot afford the costs to receive the chip for free. The government is yet to determine how this new rule will be enforced.
Looking out for (stray) cats in the Netherlands
There are an estimated one million stray cats in the Netherlands, and every year, over 38.000 cats are reported missing, with many ending up in an animal shelter in the hopes of being reunited with their owner - but according to these shelters that only happens for around 15 percent of them.
The Dutch organisation for animal protection had presented the government with a petition asking for microchipping to be made mandatory, and in 2018, a number of municipalities - including Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Amsterdam - argued on behalf of a so-called chipplicht (“chip-duty”). Animal Protection says it can (significantly) reduce the number of stray cats in the Netherlands, deter anyone who plans to abandon their pet cat and prevent a lot of suffering on the part of the animal.