Compulsory microchipping of man’s best friend came into effect on the 6th April 2016. Lost or stolen dogs will now be more readily reunited with their owners under new microchipping laws brought in to improve dog welfare.
The new measures are intended to cut the rise in strays, encouraging owners to take responsibility of their pets and provide accountability in the event of an attack. Government figures reveal that more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, at a cost of £57m to the taxpayer and welfare charities. The law governing dog attacks will be extended to cover private property, closing a legal loophole giving dog owners immunity from prosecution for attacks on people or animals on private property. However householders will be protected from prosecution if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their own land.
Rather like the old dog licences, microchipping is now compulsory for all dog owners in the UK. Owners will need to ensure their animal is not only microchipped but their details are kept up to date. It is important as the registered keeper that the database that holds your pets details is informed if you move home, sell or pass on the dog or if it dies.
Microchipping is a simple, painless and relatively inexpensive solution which involves inserting a sterile microchip the size of a grain of rice; coded with the owners details, between the dog’s shoulder blades by an experienced individual such as a vet. Weaned puppies must be chipped at their second set of vaccinations at 8 weeks plus. Any owner whose dog is found without a chip and can be traced by local authorities will have the benefits of microchipping explained to them and given a short period of time to have the dog microchipped or face a fine of £500.
As a nation of dog lovers, traceability gives peace of mind to owners allowing lost dogs to be quickly reunited, limiting the stress and avoids Fido spending unnecessary time in kennels. Of course cats and other animals that are large enough can be microchipped too; in case they get lost or stolen, but don’t worry there will be no legal obligation to have Tiddles or Thumper microchipped just yet.
To update your pets microchip, please visit – www.pettrac.co.uk/pet-owners/update-pet-microchip.