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Microchipping and the Law

As you know there are already several acts of legislation in place regarding our wonderful canine companions, but ‘dog law’ is changing again.  In February 2015 the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations were introduced meaning as of April 2016 the following legal requirements must be met:

·         Every dog must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age

·         Every dog must be registered with a microchip database before purchase

·         Every owner’s contact details must be up to date

This means that after April 2016 you could be fined up to £500 if you fail to comply with this law. Please note that any dog in a public place will still have to wear a collar with the name and address of the owner written or engraved on it as per ‘The Control of Dogs Order 1992’.

Microchipping was recently discussed in the Commons again with respect to the petition ‘Harvey’s Law’ after a family spent months searching, at great monetary and emotional expense, for their beloved poodle. Harvey had actually been found deceased on a motorway only 20 minutes after going missing. Harvey’s Law highlighted the importance not only of microchipping pets but also the responsibility of those who come across a pet to make sure they scan (or take the animal to be scanned) for a microchip and make efforts to reunite them with their owner, even when the worst has unfortunately happened. Upon discussion Parliament called for:

·    Compulsory microchip scanning of all domestic animals retrieved from the highways

·    Log reports filed and circulated to both police and dog wardens

·    Photographs of pets' remains to be held with the log report for identification purposes

So what is a microchip and how are they useful?

Microchipping is internationally recognised as the most effective way to permanently identify a pet, as collars and tags can fall off or be removed. A microchip is a device, not much bigger than a grain of rice, with a unique numerical code that is inserted under a pets skin in a quick and easy process not dissimilar to their vaccinations. It is however, not a tracking device, the code is read by running an electronic scanner over the pet and is used to access pet databases where the owners contact details are held. Veterinary surgeries, local authority dog wardens and animal welfare groups can access these databases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The dog microchipping regulations were brought in by government to promote responsible dog ownership after a rise in dogs being used in crime and also a rise in dogs being stolen or abandoned. The UK’s first Pet Theft Census revealed that one in five cat and dog owners have experienced the theft of a pet in their lives, with official police data showing the equivalent of at least three cats and dogs are stolen every day. Microchips are permanent, last a lifetime, give proof of ownership in the event of theft and can also give you a greater chance of finding your pet! Petlog® estimated that 75% of missing dogs and 45% of missing cats are returned home due to their microchip. However you must keep your details up to date - The National Dog Warden Association estimated that 40% of the microchipped dogs they pick up have incomplete or inaccurate data!

Other uses

·         If an animal is injured and taken to a vet and a microchip is found, the vet can quickly contact the animal’s owner to ensure that a much-loved pet gets the best treatment straight away!

·         Microchipping is also a prerequisite of the Pet Travel Scheme and your pet must be microchipped before we can give the necessary Rabies vaccine required by the scheme and before a passport can be issued for travel abroad.

·         Cats can even have cat flaps programmed for their microchip. This helps to keep the other neighbourhood cats out, whilst allowing your cat to reliably come and go as they please!

Did you know that almost any animal could be microchipped?

Most people know vets regularly microchip dogs, cats, horses and rabbits, but birds, snakes, tortoises and even fish have undergone the procedure. It is an inexpensive procedure, and we recommend microchipping your beloved pet regardless of species to make sure you are both reunited should anything unexpected happen.

Want your pet microchipped for just £15?

Call us on 01895 233095 to make an appointment