Defra says that those who are microchipping cats and ferrets must also be trained

Posted: 7 July 2016 at 8:13 am

Kitten being microchipped

Kitten being microchipped


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed the position of those microchipping cats, ferrets and rabbits to awarding organisation, VetSkill.

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. In response to this uncertainty, VetSkill, an awarding organisation specialising in qualifications for the veterinary and animal care sectors, requested clarification from Defra as to whether, or not, those implanting microchips into cats, ferrets and rabbits must also be trained under a Defra approved training course. Defra, consequently, have stated that:

‘Whilst 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:


a) they are a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon
b) 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,
c) they have been satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the appropriate authority for that purpose, or
d) before the 29th December 2014 they received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip.

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

VetSkill 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”. He continued “We hope the clarification we have 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”.

Leslie Heaton-Smith from The College of Animal Welfare, who offer the VetSkill nationally recognised qualification in microchipping, confirmed that both their classroom and online/blended learning courses cover dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits. He stated that “Animal welfare is key to this, and lay people should not be microchipping these animals if they are not qualified to do so”.

Please visit the VetSkill website for further information on the VetSkill Level 3 Award in Implantation of Identification Microchips in Animals qualification.

– Ends –

For more information please contact:
Leanne Egland
Vet Skill Limited
Tel: 01480 278580

Notes to editors:
Vet Skill Limited (trading as VetSkill) is an awarding body specialising in qualifications in the veterinary and animal care sectors. VetSkill was recognised by the qualifications regular Ofqual in March 2015.

VetSkill is part of the group that manages The College of Animal Welfare, one of the UK’s leading providers of veterinary nurse and animal care education and training, and aims to enhance world class animal health and welfare through the provision of inspirational qualifications.

For more information about VetSkill please visit