Anybody who has ever been reunited with a lost pet because of it’s microchip will tell you what a great idea they are, but, for dogs at least, there will soon no longer be a choice, as all dogs will have to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
For every dog that is currently not microchipped, their keepers have just 6 months, until 6th April 2016, to get them microchipped and registered on an approved database.
A dog will only be legally exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons, which needs to done on a form approved by the Secretary of State.
If your dog is not both microchipped and registered on an approved database, it will be considered as not complying with the regulations and a notice may be served. If they remain un-microchipped or unregistered 21 days after the served notice, a fine of £500 will be levied.
Also, under the regulations, any change of address or contact details needs to be notified and the database updated or the dog will be considered to be no longer considered microchipped and the same enforcement will be applicable.
Microchipping will not be proof of ‘ownership’ and the terms ‘owner’ and ‘ownership’ have been replaced by the words ‘keeper’ and ‘keepership’ for this very reason. The words ‘legally responsible’ are used if your dog strays, bites or causes any unjust damage. As the keeper of the dog you are ‘liable’ for the dog that is registered to you.
We recommend that when having your pet microchipped you check the database it is aligned to and the services they offer. For more information, please call us on 01453 755003.