LONDON, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Millions of pet cats in England will have to be compulsorily microchipped under a new law, the British government announced Wednesday.
The measure could be introduced as early as next year, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) saying it will help reunite thousands of cat owners with lost or stolen pets.
Defra announced an eight-week public consultation on the proposal to make it mandatory for pet owners to microchip their cats as part of a renewed effort to further raise Britain's animal welfare standards.
The government said it is estimated that up to 2.6 million cats, or around a quarter of the total of pet cats, will benefit from the new measures.
Britain's most famous unchipped stray cat, named Larry, now lives in Downing Street and is regularly shown on television screens outside the country's most famous front doors, Number 10.
Larry, a brown and white tabby, was found in London without a microchip and taken to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home before being adopted as Chief Mouser to 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office.
Since compulsory dog microchipping was introduced in 2016, around 9 million dogs are now microchipped, meaning thousands of displaced dogs have been reunited with their owners more quickly.
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