Defra has confirmed the position of those microchipping cats, ferrets and rabbits.

Since the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 came into effect last year, providing clear details about who can legally implant microchips into dogs, there has been ongoing confusion over who can microchip cats, ferrets and rabbits.

Kitten being microchipped. Image: CAW.

In response to this uncertainty, Vet Skill, an awarding organisation specialising in qualifications for the veterinary and animal care sectors, requested clarification about whether those implanting microchips into cats, ferrets and rabbits must also be trained under a Defra approved training course.

Defra requirements

Defra stated: “While the requirements in the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 apply to those people implanting microchips into dogs, under article 10A of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011 it is a requirement for cats and ferrets to be implanted with a microchip by one of the following category of persons:

  • They are a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon.
  • They are a student of veterinary surgery or a student veterinary nurse and, in either case, are acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon.
  • They have been satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the appropriate authority for that purpose.
  • Before the 29 December 2014 they received training on implantation that included practical experience of implanting a microchip.

“While there are no such requirements for rabbits, it is obviously good practice for any animal to be microchipped by someone who can demonstrate they have the necessary competence to carry out the procedure.”


Vet Skill chairman Greg Warman said: “Over the past few months, we have seen increasing uncertainty from both the public and leading animal welfare organisations seeking clarification about who can implant microchips into these common small animal species.

“We hope the clarification we received from Defra will now allow those microchipping cats and ferrets, in particular, to make sure they are doing so in a safe and legal manner.”

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