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Now we can’t go much further into 2016 without talking about the change in microchipping laws. As of 6th April 2016, it will become compulsory for all dogs in England and Scotland to be microchipped. There are no exceptions…
The government initiative has been introduced with two excellent aims – to help reunite lost, stolen or injured pets and to help tackle the issues associated with vicious or illegal dogs.
Basically, it will be a legal requirement that all dogs over the age of 8 weeks of age have to have a registered microchip. Dog owners will also be legally required to ensure that their microchip details are kept up-to-date.
For those of you who are unsure, a microchip is a simple device no bigger than a grain of rice. It is inserted into the back of your pet’s neck (it’s only like having a jab!) and the details you specify to be linked to that pet are officially registered with a microchip database. Easy peasy! All you need to do is remember to update those details with the database company should your contact details change at any time.
The new law does only apply to dogs at this stage, although I believe it really is important for all cats to be microchipped too. This is your best chance of finding them again should they get lost or injured.
As all dogs should be microchipped from 8 weeks of age, therefore you should expect any breeders you may be liaising with to have chipped their pups by the time you take them home. Breeders will be required to register their own details which will be logged against the microchip for the life of the dog. This not only helps to reduce the number of irresponsible breeders but will also provide a key point of contact should the animal have multiple owners – so make sure you ask all the right questions!
If you do own a dog that is 8 weeks or older, and does not have a microchip by 6th April 2016, you could get yourself into trouble. A notice to microchip, a £500 fine and criminal prosecution are on offer for those who aren’t compliant.
For a cheap trip to the vets (easipetcare offer microchips for only £10, and if you bring a friend and their dog you can get a second chip for free!), it really isn’t worth the risk…
For any more help and advice, visit the Dogs Trust website 🙂
With very best wishes,