Vets, Rescues and Dog Lovers across the country have hailed the introduction of mandatory micro-chipping for all dogs in England as a giant leap forward. DEFRA announced that from 6 April 2016 all dogs will be required to have a microchip, giving owners over 3 years to comply with new legislation. Micro-chipping is a safe and effective way to permanently identify a dog and, through registration on a database, the dog can be linked to its owner and quickly reunited if it goes missing. Micro-chips are only as useful as the information on the database so it is essential that owners keep their details up to date. It is believed that only half the dogs in Britain are currently micro chipped.
Micro-chipping also has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
- All puppies are traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidence of infectious disease and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer
- Deterrent to dog theft
- Allows for rapid return, meaning that local authorities are able to emphasise to the dog owners concerned that straying is not acceptable, the intention being that this education will lessen the likelihood of a dog straying again and reinforce the responsibilities of the owners under the Animal Welfare Act 2006
- Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners guilty of animal cruelty
- Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners for emergency procedures
- Allows identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs and owners can be moved and reunited more quickly