What changes are the government making to dog microchipping?

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said that from 6th April 2016 it will be law for all dogs in  England to be microchipped. The government are also looking at changing the Dangerous Dogs Act so that owners of dogs which attack on private property can be prosecuted.

Why should I micro chip my dog?

When scanned a chip will provide details of the owner from a national database. This will make it easier for lost and stolen dogs to be reunited. If you don’t then you will be given a short amount of time to comply before facing a £500 fine. 58% of dog owners have already had their dog micro chipped voluntarily.

What will it cost?

The government will not be funding microchipping. The Dogs Trust are supplying free microchips to vets and leaving it to the vet to decide if they charge or not. The Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats home and the Blue Cross currently offer to chip dogs for free or for a reduced fee. Vets usually charge between £20 – £30.

Does it hurt?

It is a quick, largely painless procedure. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted by needle between the dog’s shoulder blades. The chip is contained within a special bio-compatible glass (the same as in human pacemakers) which means it fuses with tissue and doesn’t move and it is accepted by the dog’s body.

Who will enforce it?

Enforcing the law will be the responsibility of the local authority and police. Vets will remind dog owners of the law.

What about dangerous dogs?

The government have said that they will amend the Animal Welfare Act to make microchipping compulsory without a parliamentary debate but that the Dangerous Dogs Act is more complicated. They want to change the law so that it offers protection to those attacked by dogs on private property as they are currently excluded under the current legislation. At the same they want the law to protect dog owners if the dog attacks a burglar or trespasser. This amendment will need to be debated and approved by parliament. The RSPCA have expressed doubts that the suggested changes go far enough in offering the protection needed.

Dog Microchipping FAQ
Tagged on: