Written by: Alison Laurie, Senior Consultant, Crown Vets Inverness
On the 6th April 2016 it became law for all dogs in the UK to have an identity Microchip implanted. It was hoped that the new law would mean that more stray and lost dogs would be happily reunited with their owners and that there would be a decrease in the large numbers of lost, stray and abandoned dogs, which would in turn relieve the burden and demands on animal charities and local authority rescue centres.
It is now law and compulsory for all dogs by eight weeks old to be Microchipped and identified. If your dog is not already Microchipped then please arrange to have this done as soon as possible.
It is your, as the pet owner's, responsibility to ensure your dog is Microchipped and registered on one of the authorised UK commercial databases.
It is also the pet owner's responsibility to keep their contact details up-to-date on these databases. If your pet is already Microchipped please ensure that all the contact details, i.e. address, telephone /mobile contacts are in fact up to date.
Where a pet is transferred to a new owner, the new owner must record their own details and any change in the pet’s name etc., with the database on which the dog’s details are initially recorded.
“PetLog” UK’s Pet Microchip database contact number for any changes in ownership and contact details is 01296 336 579/ 08438166254.
With the law on Microchipping Dogs now well established, owners of dogs found to be without a Microchip now face being served with a notice to comply and then they may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the law within 21 days of a served notice.
Also under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 it is a requirement that any dog while in a public place must wear a collar with the owners name and up to date address and post code engraved or written on it, or wear an identity tag with the same details.
Dog Breeders now are responsible for Microchipping puppies before they are sold and by eight weeks old. Breeders are required to register their own details and these will be kept logged and recorded against that Microchip for the lifespan of that dog. The Microchip contact details must be changed by the new owner once the pup is sold. All imported dogs already have to be Microchipped.
There isn’t a law as yet saying you have to microchip pet cats, rabbits or your other pets, but we recommend that you do. In particular we can't stress enough how important it is to have your pet cats Microchipped and we mustn’t fail them here. Sadly thousands of cats go missing every year and research has found that almost one in two cats are never returned, so we do recommend Microchipping as a safe and permanent method of identification for your pet cat.
It is 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 ever become lost or stolen.
You can contact us for any advice with regard to Microchipping your pets and on the current legislation.