The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 required that from 6 April 2016, every dog that is older than eight weeks must be microchipped, and their details recorded on an approved UK database.
If you buy or rehome a dog, or if you change your address, you must also update your details on the database. If your details are not up-to-date, this results in the dog not being properly microchipped in accordance with the Regulations and you may therefore be subject to enforcement action.
A lack of a microchip, or incorrect details linked to the microchip, results in many stray dogs having to be rehomed as their owners cannot be identified.
A microchip is a passive device no bigger than a grain of rice. Once a microchip is in place, it can be scanned and its 15 digit identification code can be checked against the microchip databases to quickly identify the owner, allowing a stray dog to be reunited with its owner quickly. A microchip is therefore a quick and permanent way of identifying a dog, taking no more than a few minutes to implant.
Microchipping is a relatively simple process that can be undertaken by all veterinary surgeons or anyone trained to carry out the procedure. The procedure is no more uncomfortable than a standard vaccination injection. A number of animal welfare organisations have also been offering free or reduced price microchipping for many years.
If you don’t microchip your dog
It is an offence not to have your dog microchipped and you can be fined up to £500 if you don’t comply with the legislation.
If a dog isn’t microchipped, the local authority will serve a notice on the keeper of a dog requiring them to have the dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper fails to comply with the notice, they may be prosecuted and fined. The local authority can also seize the dog, implant a microchip and recover the cost of doing so from the keeper.
Even though your dog is microchipped, you must still ensure that it is provided with a collar and tag bearing the name and address of the owner. Failure to do so is an offence and you can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog is in a public place without this information.
Further information and advice
Further advice and information is available:
- GOV.UK's Get your dog microchipped
- The RSPCA provide information on Microchipping your pet
- The Dogs Trust have a list of Frequently asked questions about microchipping
Environmental Health and Licensing
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