Currently over 8,000 dogs in Britain are euthanised each year because they cannot be reunited with their owners. By having their dogs microchipped and keeping contact details up to date with their microchip database, owners greatly increase their chances of being reunited with a missing pet. The microchipping of dogs will become compulsory in England from 6 April 2016 and will aim to stop thousands of dogs needlessly being destroyed.
In celebration of National Microchipping Month, which takes place throughout the month of June, lost and found dogs travelled to Westminster to support compulsory microchipping as new figures show that almost a quarter of a million dogs have been reunited with their owners thanks to their microchip and Petlog - the UK's largest database for microchipped pets.
The reunited dogs and their owners were met by Farming and Animal Welfare Minister, George Eustice and Animal Welfare Shadow Minister, Angela Smith, who highlighted the importance of the new law requiring the microchipping of all dogs in England from April 2016.
Speaking at the event, Farming and Animal Welfare Minister, George Eustice said microchips are already helping hundreds of thousands of lost or stolen dogs to be reunited with their owners, so the benefits are clear. He also reminded owners not to leave it until the last minute and to get your dog microchipped now.
The new law requires all dog owners in England to microchip their dog and register them with a government compliant microchip database by 6 April 2016. After that date, all puppies must be microchipped and registered with a microchip database by the time they are 8 weeks old. Anyone who does not have their dog microchipped after 6 April 2016 will have 21 days to have the dog microchipped, and failure to do so may result in a fine of up to £500.
In addition to having your dog microchipped it will be compulsory for dog owners to keep their contact details up to date so owners are reminded to update their details whenever they move home or change telephone numbers to ensure their pet can always be reunited. It is also worth noting that the microchipping regulations do not affect the requirement for collars and tags. Every dog while on a public highway or public place must continue to wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it or a plate or badge attached to it.
More information on microchipping and the legislation can be found here.