All dog owners need to be aware of a new law coming into place April 2016 which requires compulsory microchipping for all dogs. This blog has broken down the infornation you need to know and you can find more details about the law here and a copy of the act itself here. You can also take a look at our blog post about microchipping for information on the procedure.
What does the law state?
The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 requires all dogs before they reach 8 weeks old to be microchipped and registered to a database. All adult dogs must be microchipped and registered by 6th April 2016. It also states that a change of ownership or owner's details must be accompanied by the microchip details being updated.
Why has this law been put into place?
The keeper of any dog is legally responsible for their pet, so a dog straying, biting or causing unjust damage means their owner is liable for that animal and will be held responsible for such incidents. Thousands of dogs go missing every year, and simply microchipping them can help return them to their owner quickly to reduce the pressure on rescue centres and local authorities.
What happens if you don't microchip your dog?
As this law involves compulsory microchipping, failure to comply will result in a notice being issued to the owner/keeper, which will be followed up. The owner/keeper then has 21 days to get their dog microchipped or they can be fined £500.00 for breaking the law. A £500.00 fine can also be issued to owners who fail to keep their pet's details up to date on the database.
How will this be monitored?
Local authorities, police constables and community support officers will all be involved with this law and can serve a notice to anyone found to not have their dog microchipped.
What do you need to do?
The dog is considered 'microchipped' when the chip has been implanted and the details have been registered with an approved database. This means that you need to get any existing pets microchipped by 6th April 2016 and then any puppies after this point must be microchipped and registered before they reach 8 weeks old. There is no upper age limit, and microchips last for life so you won't need to get your pet re-chipped in the future, but you will have to keep the details up to date, so any change of address or ownership must be recorded by contacting the company your dog is registered with.