A vet who helps cats across Bolton and beyond says that a new law could be good news for felines all around the country.

The law will require all cat owners to microchip their pets before they are 20 weeks old from the start of next year.

David Hough, of White Cross Vets in Walkden, says this could help make sure fewer cats get lost and end up in rescue centres.

He said: “We regularly see cats that are lost or have had road accidents that aren’t microchipped. In these instances, the reality is that it can be very difficult to reunite them with their owners.

“As a result, rescue centres are often swamped with lost cats that then end up being rehomed. Pets are loved and integral family members and it’s very painful for owners when they are stolen or go missing.

“We therefore welcome this legislation, especially because a microchip is the best way reuniting a lost or stolen pet with their owner.

“They also last a lifetime and cost £19.25 or are free as part of our Complete Wellness Plan.”

He added: “Hardly a week goes by without somebody bringing us a lost or injured pet cat or dog and the first thing we always do is scan for a microchip.

“This gives us a unique reference number, which we can use to obtain the owner’s details from a database.”