From 6 April 2016 all dogs in England, Wales and Scotland must be microchipped by Law.
The Regulations will be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person whom the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations.
Losing your dog is very distressing and without reliable identification, it is very difficult to reunite a lost dog with its owner. Microchipping is a simple way of permanent identification.
A tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is injected by your vet under the loose skin of your dog’s neck, which will give your dog his own personal identification number. It’s quick and very safe and your dog is unlikely to feel anything.
Should your dog stray or get lost and get handed in to a veterinary surgery, animal welfare group, the police or local authority, they have special hand held scanners that can detect and “read” the information on the microchips. Once your dog’s unique number has been found and verified against the national database, you will be reunited without further delay.
However, it is important to stress that every dog owner is also legally obliged to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar and identification disc in public areas, even if they have a microchip. The disc should have the owners surname and address on it.
If a stray dog is found not wearing a tag with this information, owners can be fined quite heavily! An identification disc on a collar makes it easy to see where a lost dog has come from but a collar can also be easily removed, particularly from a stolen dog.
Keeping your details up-to-date is also important
Please note that under this new Law you can also get fined if your details for your pet’s microchip are out-of-date. Accordingly if, for example, you have moved address, you must ensure you have registered your new address on the database for your pet’s microchip.