The chip will contain personal date including the animal's name, age and the address of its owner.
"It's a crazy situation" Mr Weyts told the VRT. "At present new cats are registered but no information is stored in a central data bank."
The Animal Welfare Minister is keen to launch the new data bank as early as next year. Chips for cats will be introduced gradually. All new-born cats will have to have a chip embedded in their body. The system is supposed to reduce the number of stray cats, but has other advantages too. Ben Weyts: "We can also make sure that cats that get lost are reunited with their owners."
Flemish animal sanctuaries have welcomed the news.