Compulsory Microchipping for all Dog Owners
Microchipping is the best way to be re-united with your dog should they become lost or stolen and from April 6th, 2016 it will be a legal requirement and law for all dogs to be microchipped and contact details kept up-to-date in England, Scotland & Wales.
The microchipping of dogs (England) Regulations 2016 will be enforced by the police, local authorities, communituy support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations. If a keeper of a dog which is not microchipped is served with a notice to have the dog chipped, they will be given 21 days to do this. If the keeper does not comply within this period they will be liable to pay a fine of £500. If you purchace a puppy after April 2016 it should be microchipped by the time it is 8 weeks old.
As well as having your dog chipped the new law requires you to ensure your contact details, addess, telephone number are correct and up-to-date with the approved database organisation. Failure to do so, and served with a 21 day notice, will also mean you are liable to a £500 fine per dog. It is also still a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar and tag with your contact details on when in public.
The process of getting your dog microchipped is a quick and easy procedure and does not hurt the dog. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique code that matches up with your pet details. The chip is inserted under the dog’s skin, usually around the scruff of the neck, using a needle and takes seconds. Your dog can then be checked for the microchip using a handheld electronic device, called a scanner. When this is waved over the dog’s neck, the scanner will recognise the information held inside the chip.
Most vets offer a microchipping service and prices range from £10-£30. Some dog organisations such as Dogs Trust do offer free microchipping at their centres, but as a charity they would appreciate any donations that can help with the scheme. For further information contact Darlington Dogs Trust at Sadberge Tel (01325) 333114 or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/community-events/.
The change in the law will only apply to dogs, however it’s still a great idea to have all your pets microchipped as it is the best way of you being reunited with them as quickly as possible should they become lost or stolen.