So we’ve all probably heard something about the new Microchipping laws that came into place on the 6th of April 2016. From experience of talking to owners however not everyone is clear on what these really mean and what they should be doing and so I thought it would be worth reiterating the requirements in this month’s article.
The simple summary is that it is now the law that every dog is both microchipped and the registration of the details of the keeper be up to date on an officially recognised database (like Pet Log). The exception to this will be dogs under 8wks of age or those that have a written letter of exception from the vets for medical reasons. If medically exempt, you will need to get your vet to certify this on a form authorised by the secretary of state.
The microchip database is termed to be proof of keeper and not proof of ownership. However, the registered keeper will be liable for any offences the dog commits like fowling or biting etc.
The microchip laws can be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations. No one should therefore assume their dog won’t be scanned as all agencies, vets and enforcers will now routinely scan dogs. Fines for being found without a microchip or correcting this can be up to £500 per dog.
Microchips are easy to have put into your dog and generally no more painful than their average annual vaccinations. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and inactive unless scanned. You can get a chip implanted at your vet or at a registered implanter (Calagran Four Paws Hotel is a registered implanter if we can help). The process including registration paperwork take a maximum of ten minutes and in addition to complying with the law you also have the peace of mind if ever you and your dog are parted that you can be reunited again with the minimum of delay.
After implantation of the Microchip you will receive notice of the registration and it is critical you also then keep that information up to date. If information like your address goes out of date, you can still be fined for not having the registration database up to date. Generally, most chip companies will offer database changes online or by post for a set fee or you can choose to take out a lifetime change fee just after implantation to cover any changes in the dog’s lifetime.
If you want to look up whether your dog’s microchip details are up-to-date or not you can do this at https://www.petlog.org.uk/look-up-a-microchip/search/ . If you think your dog has a microchip but don’t have a record of the chip again your vet or local implanter (including us) can scan your dog and give you the number.