Blue Cross is encouraged by the government’s plans to introduce compulsory microchipping for cats, and to consider banning the keeping of primates as pets.

If they become law, both policies would have a significant impact on animal welfare.

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross, said: “Blue Cross is pleased to hear the government will be looking into the possibilities of a ban on the keeping of primates as pets. In recent years, Blue Cross has highlighted concerns around the sale of primates in pet shops and on classified websites. Primates have highly complex welfare needs which cannot be met in a home environment.”

Our report, One Click Away: An Investigation into the Online Sale of Exotic Pets, released jointly with the Born Free Foundation in 2015, uncovered exotic animals for sale as pets in UK pet shops and online. Primates are not domesticated in the same way that dogs and cats are, and have highly complex welfare needs which cannot be met in a home environment. Our report highlighted pet shops giving inappropriate advice that primates can be housed in parrot cages and kept in the garage.

We have also called on the government to make cat microchipping mandatory for many years. Almost a quarter of cats Blue Cross rehoming centres care for are brought in as strays, and 80 per cent of them are not microchipped.

“Compulsory microchipping of cats is something we have long campaigned for,” Becky added. “Far too many stray cats come into our centres each year without microchips making it impossible for them to be reunited with their owners. Compulsory microchipping is a safe and permanent way of identifying cats and something we always encourage owners to do. We look forward to continuing to work with government on this issue.”