Deadline looms for micro-chip law for dogs

Rachel Senior micro-chips Betsy at an event at Oakwell Hall Visitor's Centre.
Rachel Senior micro-chips Betsy at an event at Oakwell Hall Visitor's Centre.

Vets have launched a campaign to help dog owners understand and comply with a new law regarding dog ownership.

In just one month, from Wednesday April 6, all dogs aged eight weeks and over in the UK will be legally required to have a microchip.

Statistics show approximately 1.8 million dogs still do not have a microchip in the UK, but 80 per cent of the pet dog population does currently comply with the new law.

To help dog owners check if their dog has a microchip, vets are increasing awareness of the new law and helping owners understand more about the legal requirements.

Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “In just a few weeks tens of thousands of dog owners could be breaking the law and facing a fine of up to £500.

“But pet owners shouldn’t worry about microchipping their pet. It is an easy and simple procedure.A microchip is about the same size of a grain of rice and is injected under the skin at the scruff of a dog’s neck.

“Each microchip has a 15-digit code which is unique to the pet and can be read through a special scanner.”

The new legislation is designed to prevent illegal breeding of dogs, bring owners to account for a dog’s aggressive behaviour and reunite lost pets with their rightful owners quickly.

But microchipping is also carried out on other pets, including cats and rabbits.

Dr Stacey said: “It is also vital that all owners keep their contact details up-to-date on a microchip database. Some pets cannot be returned to their owner because the chip has inaccurate data.”