Dog microchips 'to be compulsory' in England

Black labrador retriever About 5,000 owners a week already voluntarily choose to microchip their dogs

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Compulsory microchips for dogs are to be introduced in England, under plans expected to be announced on Monday.

Ministers are expected to say that every newborn puppy should be microchipped to make it easier to trace and prosecute owners of violent dogs.

But critics of the plan question its effectiveness and the potential cost of the move.

Earlier this month Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to introduce a law on microchipping.

The microchips each contain a unique number and are implanted into the loose skin between a dog's shoulder blades.

The information will reportedly be stored on a central database which can be accessed by the police and the RSPCA.

'Irresponsible owners'

Charities have broadly welcomed the rules, suggesting they could also help reunite lost dogs with owners.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "We will very shortly be announcing a package of measures to tackle the problems caused by irresponsible dog owners.

"This is an issue we take extremely seriously and so have taken the time necessary to get the policy right."

About 5,000 owners a week already voluntarily choose to microchip their dogs.

Welsh Environment Minister John Griffiths said last December that he was considering introducing legislation requiring all dogs in Wales to be microchipped.

The Welsh government is to consult on plans for compulsory microchipping later this year.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, said in March there were no plans in Scotland to introduce compulsory microchipping.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 591.

    I am a dog owner and will .not chip my dog.Its well trained and will not run away and has not got a nasty bone in it.I wonder why that is.Ah maybe it has something to do with a little effort training it when it was a puppy.Maybe i would consider chipping when the yobs who run riot are chipped preferably with a good dose of hard work

  • rate this

    Comment number 582.

    It's not a bad idea, but I hope they make it affordable for homeless and vulnerable people who rely on their dogs for non-judgemental company and to make them leave the house to walk them.

    I can see that if someone loses half their disability benefit next year and can't keep their dog it could drive some to suicide, no kidding.

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    This will not make the slightest difference. Responsible dog owners already chip, irresponsible ones don't it is a s simple as that.
    How do you enforce this? Put dog wardens on all park gates?
    As for insurance I would love to insure my dog but it costs over £100 a month and is a rip off. I own one of the most placid gentle breeds you can get.

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    The best way to ensure compliance is to also make it illegal to sell or pass on a dog that's not chipped. Responsible breeders and those who care about the welfare of dogs aren't likely to have a problem with this, and the problem needs to be dealt with at source.

    I don't see any plans to apply this new law retrospectively, so it will be about a decade or so before it's fully effective anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    A good idea and its about time! Dogs are animals after all and unpredictable as a result. Owners must be held responsible for the violent and fouling actions of their creatures.


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