Dog Microchipping Law
With the new law on dog microchipping imminent, InTandridge caught up with Medivet Oxted’s, Dr Paul Grant MVB MRCVS…
Every dog keeper in England will have to microchip their dog from 6 April 2016 under plans intended to cut a rise in strays.
All dogs and pups over 8 weeks old will be required to have a microchip and to have up to date contact details registered on a database.
Here at Medivet Oxted we register the details of the owner (keeper) with a database as soon as we implant the microchip. We immediately send a copy of the registration document to the pet’s owner (keeper), by email.
The microchips will be coded with owners’ details, and owners who do not comply could face fines of up to £500.
Government figures reveal that more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, at a cost of £57m to the taxpayer and welfare charities. Thousands of stray dogs are put to sleep each year.
Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it’s stolen.
The change in the law will be effective from 6 April 2016.
Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust charity, said the scheme would make “a huge difference”. Most of the 16,000 dogs looked after by the trust each year had not been microchipped. We could get those dogs back to their worried owners if they have a microchip and are identifiable,” she said. “With a register, kept up to date, people will be able to get their dogs back far more easily.”
But Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine, said the scheme was flawed because many owners did not keep their information up to date. “The National Dog Warden Association says 40% of the dogs they pick up that are chipped have got incomplete or inaccurate data, meaning they can’t be returned. People don’t know how to update their records. The chip is invisible – once it’s in there people forget it’s there”.
To help overcome this, there is a website, which makes it easy for owners to find out how to update their details, should they need to. Owners simply need to put the microchip number into the website and follow the straight forward instructions given. If an owner has lost / forgotten the microchip number Medivet Oxted will happily scan their pet, at no cost, and let them know the number. I’m sure most vets around the country would do the same.
Microchipping has been available to our pets for many years now. It is a simple, safe and effective form of permanent identification. Many dogs, and cats, have been returned after long periods away, and from vast distances, who would otherwise never have found their way back to their loving owners. In my experience, as a vet for almost 29 years, I have had a very few occasions where a microchip has failed. On scanning there was no reading, even though we knew a chip had been implanted. The pet was not in any way distressed. On one of those occasions an X-ray showed the chip to have bent. Another chip was implanted on each of those few occasions.
A recent unusual event for us at Medivet Oxted, was the discovery of three microchips in one dog! We x-rayed the mature dog to investigate a particular problem, and an incidental finding on the X-ray was the presence of three different microchips. We scanned the dog and we were able to read all the microchip numbers. Two were still registered to the breeder and one to the owner. We suspect the breeder had mistakenly microchipped the same pup three times, and, perhaps, two other pups went to their new homes un-microchipped!
So please be safe, be legal. Ensure your dog is microchipped and that your registered details are kept up to date.
Medivet Oxted | 01883 712 206 | 1 Barrow Green Road, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0RA