Compulsory Microchipping England Scotland and Wales
All dog owners and keepers of dogs in England Scotland and Wales will be legally required to have their pet microchipped when a new law is introduced next year.
From April 6, 2016 any owner or keeper whose dog is not chipped could face a fine of £500 if they fail to act when warned.
The fines may vary between Scotland and Wales as full details have currently not been announced
Here are some important things to know before the law comes into force:
- The law pertains to England, Scotland and Wales. Wales initially decided to bring the law in on April 2015, but realised it needed more time before roll out.
- Scotland has recently (March) published its intention to follow England and Wales in making microchipping a lawful requirement,
- All puppies must be chipped and registered on an approved database before they hit the age of 8 weeks.
- It does not matter if a person is not the owner – the law applies to the dog’s “keeper”.
- Keepers found not to have had their dog chipped will be issued a warning. They will then have 21 days to act. Fines of £500 can be issued iof keepers fail to do so.
- The law will be enforced by local authorities such as councils, plus police and PCSOs. Other persons may also be given permission to enforce the law – for example, RSPCA officers may be authorised. On a personal basis I do hope the RSPCA is not involved.
- A dog microchip is about twice the size of a grain of rice. However for smaller dogs there are smaller microchips available id required.
The term owner will not be used, it will be Keepers and Keepership rather than owner and ownership. This act means pups will be traceable right the way back to the breeder and hopefully this will reduce the practice of illegal puppy farming and possibly inherited diseases, aggression and illegal dogs
MY Dog is Currently Not Chipped:
You have until the 5th April 2016 to get the dog microchipped, whatever age the dogs is. If your dog is found to not have been chipped you will be issued a warning and 21 days to act and get the dog chipped. Fines of £500 may be given to those who fail to do so.
There are no exceptions except for medical reasons. A dog will be legally exempt from being microchipped only when a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons. This needs to done on a form approved by the Secretary of State.
What Happens if I Move House:
if the keeper does NOT get their details up to date within 21 days of a served notice, then you will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
What Happens if You Sell or Give Away A Dog
Once again the new keeper is responsible for updating the chip to reflect a change in owner and address same penalties apply.
Who Will Enforce The Law:
The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 will 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. The Kennel Club may be one.
Information for Breeders
Whilst the dog is still in your keepership you are required by law to Microchip the puppy by the time it is 8 weeks old and register with an approved microchip database (you must register your details as well as the dog’s)
As soon as the dog is with a new owner or keeper then they become liable, you must ensure the microchip database contact details are up to date (with the new keeper’s information) this should be updated either by yourself or the new keeper.
For any dog that is registered to you (on the microchip database), you are likely to be held responsible if the dog has been found to have strayed, bitten or caused any unjust damage (there are some exceptions in instances where you were not in charge of the dog at the time of the incident.
It will be illegal for breeders to sell a puppy that is not microchipped and registered on a compliant database that meets the legal requirement.
The breeder must always be the first recorded keeper of the puppies on the microchip database. The breeder must provide transfer of keepership documents to the puppy buyer to ensure the new owner can update their details in order to comply with the law.
If you are implanting your puppies yourself and are already trained, you don’t have to do anything differently. If you wish to train to implant microchips after April 2016, you must be trained by a government approved course eg. LANTRA.
What Details Will Be Recorded On The Database
- The breeder’s licence number (if applicable) and the name of the local authority by which they are licensed.
- The name given to the dog by the breeder.
- The breed of the dog, or a description if it is a crossbreed.
- The sex of the dog. The colour(s) of the dog e.g. blue, brindle and white.
- The most accurate estimate of the dog’s date of birth which the keeper can give. If the keeper is the breeder then the exact date of birth should be known.
- The full name and address of the keeper (including the full postcode).
- The contact telephone number(s) of the keeper.
- The name given to the dog by the keeper if different to those already recorded.
- The unique microchip number. (NB: This may be found on the registration certificate issued by the database operator. If this has been lost, someone at your veterinary practice, dog rescue centre or a local authority dog warden should be able to scan the dog and advise the number to help notification of change of keepership or keepers’ details).
- Northern Ireland compulsory microchipping was introduced under the Dogs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.