From 6 April 2016, it is compulsory for owners to ensure their dog is microchipped.
Lost or stray dogs will be reunited with their owners thanks to new microchipping laws which come into effect to improve dog welfare today.
Under the new measures all owners must ensure their dog is microchipped and their details are kept up to date. Not only will this mean the UK’s 8.5 million dogs can be returned to their owners more quickly if they wander too far from home, but it will also make it easier to track down the owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people.
Already over 86% of responsible dog owners have had their pets painlessly implanted with a microchip and their details updated on a national database. This is vital to reunite over 102,000 dogs which are picked up from our streets having strayed or been stolen every year.
We also expect local authorities and charities, which would otherwise feed, kennel and home dogs, to make £33 million in annual savings were these dogs microchipped and returned to owners.
Commenting on the new law which comes into effect today, Animal Welfare Minister George Eustice said:
Every responsible dog owner wants to know their pet is safe. Microchipping will not only reunite people with their lost or stolen pets, but also help to tackle the growing problem of strays roaming the streets and relieve the burden placed on animal charities and local authorities.
We are a nation of dog lovers and microchipping is crucial for both good dog welfare and to provide dog owners with peace of mind.
From today (6 April 2016) owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
Already 7.34 million dogs are microchipped in the UK. This is a 25% increase since we consulted on the law in 2012.
According to the latest regional statistics South East, East Midlands and North West dog owners are leading the pack in taking action to chip their dog, with over one million, 959,000 and almost 900,000 dogs chipped, respectively. In the South West over 717,000 have added their details, followed by 648,000 in the West Midlands and 510,000 in the North East. Busy Londoners are trailing behind with an estimated 485,000 dog details added.
You must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip by the time it’s 8 weeks old.
You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t microchipped.
Who can microchip your dog:
Your dog’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional, eg a vet.
You can ask the following to microchip your dog for free:
What happens when your dog is microchipped:
Your dog’s microchip is given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned.
The professional who microchips your dog will also take your contact details.
These details are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that your dog can be returned to you if it’s lost or stolen.
Your dog must still wear a collar and tag with your name and address when in a public place.
Updating your details:
You are responsible for keeping your dog’s microchip information up to date, eg if you move house.
Contact the database company your dog is registered with to update any of your details.
You might be charged for updating your dog’s microchip information.
Find out where your dog’s registered:
You can check the microchip number if you don’t know which database your dog is registered on.
If you don’t have the microchip number, you can ask any of the following to scan your dog for it:
- a vet
- a dog warden
- a dog rescue centre
Buying a dog:
You should ask for proof a microchip has been fitted before buying a dog.
You can ask to see any of the following as proof:
- microchip certificate
- vet records
- pet passport
You may also be able to see microchip information in the dog’s pet insurance papers.
You must make sure the microchip details are updated once you have bought the dog.