In September 2020, two laws were proposed that involved the use of a pet microchip tracker to help protect pets and comfort owners, and after nearly two years the combined bill is still being campaigned for in the Houses of Parliament.
Officially known as the Pets (Microchips) Bill, the proposal is made up of two parts which are commonly known as Gizmo’s Law and Tuk’s Law, respectively, both named after pets who were lost in tragic circumstances.
Gizmo was a cat that belonged to Heléna Abrahams who was tragically killed in a traffic accident but was never reunited with her owner, as unlike with dogs there was not a legal requirement at that time to scan the microchip of a deceased cat to return them to their owner.
Gizmo’s Law, therefore, would bring the law on treating deceased cats in line with dogs, and help provide closure to owners and reduce distress as much as possible, ensuring that no owner has to find out what happened to their beloved pet in the same way Ms Abrahams did.
Tuk’s law, on the other hand, aims to stop healthy animals from being euthanised without being scanned first, with the backup details used to contact either a breeder or previous owner to inquire about whether they would like to take ownership of the pet and confirm the identity of the person who brought them in.
Tragically, this was the case with the 16-month rescue Tuk, who in late 2017 was euthanised without having his microchip scanned and without contacting the backup contact details first and having been presented by a person who was not his registered keeper.
The proposed law therefore would ensure that no healthy animal is put down without exhausting every other option first, using microchips to protect animals and owners alike.