Professionals in the petcare industry are being urged to gain their qualifications in microchipping and add this to their list of services, as new rules are set to see a surge in demand for the procedure.\r\n\r\nIt comes as the government recently announced that every kitten must be microchipped before the age of 20 weeks, or breeders and owners could face a \u00a3500 fine, in a bid to cut down stray and lost cats.\r\n\r\nQualification providers iPET Network said that pet microchipping is a skill which existing businesses could \u201ceasily add\u201d as a service, and that now is the time to get qualified for the procedure.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe iPET Network offers a microchipping course which is regulated by Ofqual and DEFRA approved, and teaches participants how to carry out the procedure. After they qualify, they will have access to a service called Track Your Paws, which includes a 24\/7 manned phone line, assistance from pet detectives and ongoing efforts from the service to \u201cstamp out national loopholes which could put pets and owners at risk\u201d.\r\n\r\nAfter the course, participants will be registered and ready to operate as Track Your Paws implanters, as well as get unlimited free microchips.\r\n\r\nSarah Mackay, co-director of iPET Network, said: "With these new regulations coming in for cats, the time to add in microchipping as a service has never been better. The qualification is inexpensive, and then you are up and running to start helping more people than ever be reunited with their precious pets."\r\n\r\nFern Gresty of iPET Network, added: "Getting this qualification will be a no-brainer for many existing pet businesses, and for some individuals it could be a brilliant revenue stream in a growth industry. Equally it will lighten the burden on overwhelmed veterinary services and ensure more animals are chipped.\r\n\r\n"Being qualified gives a mark of quality, and as a nation of pet parents and pet lovers, that is what customers demand."