October 25, 2018 2 min read

From 6 April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are required to be microchipped and registered on an authorised database, such as Petlog. The new law is the result of campaigning by the Microchipping Alliance – a collaboration between the British Veterinary Association, the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA.

The reason for the law is to encourage all dog owners to take responsibility for keeping their pet. When it reported the news in 2013, the BBC said that the 118,000 dogs go stray every year in the UK. It quoted Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who said, "It's ludicrous that in a nation of dog-lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down."

How the system will work

The Pet Owners blog says in an article on compulsory microchipping, “Under the law you are obliged to keep your details up to date on the database. Police and local authority employees will be issued with microchip reader scanners so that instant enforcement of the law can be carried out. A time window will be allowed for the owner to get the chipping done if their pet is caught without a chip. After which a £500 fine for failing to comply will be issued. Full details of the change to the law will emerge over the next few months."

The Dogs Trust explains the benefits of microchipping on its website

  • All puppies are traceable to their breeder which will reduce the problem of puppy farming
  • Microchips will deter dog thefts
  • Local authorities can return dogs to owners and press them on the importance of not allowing the dogs to stray.
  • Enables identification of dogs and owners in emergency situations.

Free microchipping from The Dogs Trust

The Dogs Trust is offering free microchipping sessions in various parts of the UK. You can find out more information here.

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