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Chips don't lie - microchipping dogs now a legal requirement

Luke Whitmore - Law on the Web

  1. 06 April 2016
  2. Miscellaneous
  3. 0 comments
Dog with lead

A new law requires all dogs to be microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old.

Dog owners in England, Scotland and Wales could be slapped with a £500 fine if it is discovered that their dog has not been chipped and they fail to resolve this within 21 days.

It’s estimated that a million dogs in the UK do not contain microchips, making it harder for authorities to reunite them with their owners should the creatures become lost.

The microchip in question is implanted in the back of the dog’s neck and has a unique code, which is then linked to the owner’s details in a database. Some animal charities, vets and local authorities will carry out the procedure of chipping a dog for free.

The chip can then be scanned if it ever becomes necessary to identify the dog’s owner, due to the animal becoming lost or being stolen, for example.

“We are a nation of dog lovers and we want to make sure they stay safe,” said George Eustice, the animal welfare minister.

"Microchipping our dogs will not only reunite people with their lost or stolen pets, but also help to tackle the growing problem of strays roaming the streets and relieve the burden placed on animal charities and local authorities."

A legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped has already been in place in Northern Ireland since 2012, which the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says has slashed the amount of lost, abandoned and stray dogs.

Although compulsory microchipping will make it easier to identify lost dogs, they are also still required to wear a collar tagged with the owner’s name and address when out in public.

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