On the day new compulsory dog microchipping legislation comes into effect, Jeff Smith MP has joined up with the Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to urge dog owners to ensure their pets are chipped and that their contact details on the microchip database are up-to-date. Official figures reveal that 16% of dogs in the UK are still not chipped.
The new English, Welsh and Scottish microchipping laws dictate that from 6th April 2016, any dog owners who do not microchip their pets within 21 days of being served notice will be liable to pay a fine of up to £500. Dogs Trust has long campaigned for this important aspect of dog welfare and has invested substantial resources in free microchipping services.
In 2015 alone, over a quarter (28%) of stray dogs were reunited with their owners thanks to a chip. The chip itself lasts a lifetime, however, owners must ensure their address details are updated after every house move so that the data remains an effective reunification tool.
Dogs Trust offers free microchipping appointments across all of its 21 Rehoming Centres around the country. Most recently, the charity launched a nationwide tour, led by their 3 metre high dog mascot, Dogcilla, hosting free microchipping roadshows and events. In total Dogcilla travelled the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference 5.8 times in her quest to get dogs across the UK chipped before the impending legal change.
Jeff Smith said: “Microchipping is an essential part of responsible dog ownership and the most effective permanent way of ensuring a lost dog is returned to their owner. I’m pleased to being joining the Dogs Trust in urging dog owners to ensure their pets are chipped – and their details are updated on the microchip database.”
Adrian Burder, CEO of Dogs Trust says, “For many years Dogs Trust has campaigned to bring about the introduction of compulsory microchipping and registration. Therefore, we are very pleased to welcome the legislation, which will go a long way to improving dog welfare. Losing a dog is an extremely upsetting time for both dog and owner so we urge the public to check their pets are chipped and address details are up to date before 6th April. To date, Dogs Trust has microchipped nearly a million dogs and we’re still working tirelessly to ensure as many dogs as possible are given these essential pieces of technology before compulsory microchipping comes into force.”
Microchipping and updating dogs’ microchips with the correct details will be compulsory in England, Wales and Scotland from 6th April 2016. To find out more information on microchip databases and how to update a microchip, please visit www.chipmydog.org.uk/update-your-dogs-chip.