Is your dog chipped? The law is changing

Thursday, 10th March 2016

IF your dog is one of the estimated 1.5 million that still aren’t microchipped, you could face a £500 fine in from April.

A new law, which comes in to effect next month, will require all dogs to have chips inserted under their skin.

From April 2016, every dog in England and Scotland will have to be microchipped in a move which the Government says will help reunite people with lost or stolen pets and track down the owners of vicious or illegal dogs.

Microchipping for dogs in Wales became law in March 2015, while Northern Ireland led the way by being the first devolved administration in the UK to introduce compulsory microchipping in April 2012.

Metro say that it is estimated by pet insurer Animal Friends, that around 12 per cent of dog owners in the UK are not sure if their pet is microchipped.

Everything you need to know

What is it?

The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 rule that all dogs, over eight weeks old, must have a chip.

The microchips will carry information about the animal that will be held in one of seven approved databases run by commercial operators.

Owners will have a responsibility to keep their information on the database up to date.

As database providers charge for a change of details some owners may be reluctant to keep the information up to date but failing to do so will incur a fine after April 6.

The only exemption from the requirement is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped.

The Dogs Trust have help and advice for you if you’re confused.

When do I need to do it by?

Owners have until April 6 to get the tiny chips inserted under the skin of their dogs.

Why is it becoming law?

The aim is to make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners which the Government says costs councils and animal charities £57 million a year.

Will compulsory microchipping for dogs be government-controlled?

The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 will be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations.

How can I do it?

Your dog’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional.

The Dogs Trust, Blue Cross centres, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, some vets and local councils will carry out the service for free..