Dog microchipping to become law
From April 2016, all dogs in England must be microchipped by law.
Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, it will be compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks in England to be fitted with microchips. And as of April 2016, if a dog without a microchip is discovered, the owner may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine.
With stray dogs costing the taxpayer and welfare charities an estimated £33 million per year, microchipping can only be a good thing. It should help ease some of this burden through easier tracking of lost dogs and reuniting them with their registered owners.
There are also a number of welfare benefits too, as noted by the Dogs Trust, including:
- Puppies will become traceable to their breeder, which in turn will help reduce puppy farming and the incidence of infectious disease and inherited defects this brings
- It’s likely to deter dog theft
- Microchipping will speed up the return of lost dogs, giving local authorities the chance to emphasise to dog owners that straying is unacceptable and hopefully prevent it happening again
- Identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty will become easier
- It will also allow third parties such as veterinary surgeons and emergency workers to contact dog owners in urgent situations
- But, like all legislation, its effectiveness can only be gauged through its policing. And sadly, in many cases, those who are most likely to adhere to compulsory microchipping are naturally law-abiding dog lovers.
Education, however, is key, and government support for animal welfare in general must be applauded. It’s up to us to keep our four-legged friends safe and protected; and for this reason, the new dog microchipping legislation is welcomed.
It is even possible to get your dog chipped for free. The Dogs Trust is running a Chip My Dog initiative, for example. Find out more here.
For further information on microchipping your dog visit Petlog, the UK’s largest lost and found database for microchipped pets.