From 6 April it will be compulsory for owners to ensure their dog is microchipped
Every year over 102,000 dogs are picked up from our streets having strayed or been stolen, but thanks to new microchipping laws coming into effect on 6 April they’ll soon stand a much greater chance of being returned home safe and sound to their owners.
Already 83% of responsible dog owners have had their four-legged friend painlessly implanted with a microchip and their details updated on a national database. This means should one of our 8.5 million dogs take itself for ‘walkies’ we can quickly find out where they’ve come from and reunite them with their family.
The new rules which come into force in England next month will not only protect the welfare of dogs and promote responsible ownership, but also make it easier to track down the owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people.
We also expect local authorities and charities, which would otherwise feed, kennel and home dogs, to make £33 million in annual savings were these dogs microchipped and returned to owners.
Commenting on the new law Animal Welfare Minister George Eustice said:
We are a nation of dog lovers and we want to make sure they stay safe. Microchipping our dogs will not only reunite people with their lost or stolen pets, but also help to tackle the growing problem of strays roaming the streets and relieve the burden placed on animal charities and local authorities.
Microchipping is vital for good dog welfare and a simple solution for responsible pet owners to provide peace of mind and ensure your much-loved dog can be traced.
Providing support for compulsory microchipping, Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director added:
Dogs Trust welcomes the new legalisation coming into effect on 6 April as we have long campaigned to make microchipping compulsory. Losing a dog is an extremely upsetting time for both dog and dog owner and microchipping increases the likelihood that a dog will be reunited with their owner in the event they are lost, making it an essential part of animal welfare law in England. It is vital that the microchip details are kept up to date.
In 2015, 47,596 unclaimed and unwanted dogs were left in council kennels across the UK as these dogs could not be reunited with their owners. Stray dogs that find themselves at Dogs Trust are the lucky ones, as we will care for a dog for its entire life if needed. In 2015 alone Dogs Trust has microchipped over 185,000 dogs for free across our network of Rehoming Centres and we’re still working tirelessly to ensure even more dogs are given these small but essential pieces of technology before April. Currently, at Dogs Trust there are 1,546 stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs looking for their forever home.
The soon-to-be-compulsory procedure is inexpensive and ranges from £10-£30, with many charities and animal shelters offering to carry it out for free.
After 6 April 2016, owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
Find out how to get your dog microchipped including how to get this done for free
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Read the background to the new microchipping laws