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This week an article was published in The Telegraph titled “Dog owners urged to break new microchipping law”. It led with a series of comments from a holistic veterinary practitioner who has stated that there is a substantial risk associated with microchipping in small dog breeds and puppies.
This article has caused me some concern as I feel it may have raised anxiety among the pet owning public who may now be confused as to the level of risk associated with the new microchipping regulations, and as a result may choose to not have their dog chipped.
So, let’s look at the facts…
Firstly, very few dogs have a reaction to the microchipping procedure – except perhaps the usual drama a dog owner can enjoy on a trip to the vets! In reality, The Veterinary Medicine Directorate (VMD) – who have introduced a monitoring scheme for the monitoring of adverse microchipping reactions in companion animals – found only 8 cases in which a dog reacted badly to a microchip in 2014. So we are looking at only very small numbers compared to the hundreds of thousands of dogs that are microchipped in the UK every year.
What is genuinely a disturbing figure is that 47,596 dogs were left behind in council pounds in 2015, where they remained unclaimed by their owner. Undoubtedly a number of these were unfortunately deliberate abandonment, but how many were simply victims of a lack of traceable owner? What is further upsetting is the fact that 5,142 stray dogs were put to sleep in the UK between 2014 and 2015 – that’s the equivalent of 1 dog every 2 hours 🙁
These are the true figures that are simply unacceptable and need to be addressed. The new microchipping law is therefore one key way of achieving this!
The VMD states that “microchip technology for animal identification was first announced in the 1980s as a means of reducing the numbers of unidentified stray animals, particularly dogs, that were being put to sleep unnecessarily because the owners could not be found.” This remains the core reason behind the latest microchipping campaign and is supported by the veterinary profession, leading UK charities and local authorities.
My question is whether you would regret ‘sitting tight and doing nothing’ should your beloved pooch end up missing? After all, a microchip is their best chance of finding their way back to you…
With best wishes to you and your precious pet,