Manchester

Dogs in Salford high-rise flats to be microchipped

Dogs living in high-rise blocks of flats in Salford will have to be microchipped under a new scheme introduced by a housing association.

Salix Homes wants to create a database of animals living in their properties.

If tenants do not register dogs or microchip them, they will be considered to be in breach of their tenancy.

Salix Homes believes this will reduce dog attacks, and has joined forces with Manchester Dogs' Home to introduce the policy and offer free microchipping.

'Clamping down'

It said the aim of the project was to tackle the problem of lost, stray and abandoned dogs, and reduced pet-related nuisance and anti-social behaviour, such as dog attacks or dogs being used for fighting or intimidation.

The housing association manages 10,500 homes across Salford.

It said the policy would start in high-rise flats first, then be introduced at all of their low-rise blocks and sheltered housing complexes.

The government has announced plans to bring in compulsory microchipping for all dogs in England by April 2016.

Lisa Graham, from Manchester Dogs' Home, said they were pleased to be assisting Salix Homes meet the new legislation early.

She said: "We are hoping that this scheme will help to encourage dog owners to be more responsible, not only with their dogs but also towards the people around them."

Joe Willis, the housing association's chief executive, said: "We are proud to be leading the way with our new pet policy and microchipping initiative and hope that other housing providers will follow our lead and join us in promoting animal welfare and clamping down on animal-related anti-social behaviour.

"We know that the majority of dog owners are responsible, but this will help us deal with those few who are not."

The parents of Jade Anderson, 14, who was mauled to death by four dogs at a friend's home near Wigan in March, took a petition to Downing Street in July calling for action to prevent dog attacks.

Environment Minister David Heath said a proposed new bill going through Parliament, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would replace the Dangerous Dogs Act, would tackle irresponsible owners.

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