Did you know that from April 2016 onwards, by law, your dog will need to be microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases available.
Don't worry if your dog’s not microchipped yet, it simply takes an inexpensive visit to the vets. Or you can find a number of organisations that carry out microchipping for free. Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is an identifying integrated circuit placed under the skin of an animal. It is 12mm long, about the same size as a large grain of rice. It has three components: an antenna to transmit a signal; a capacitor that boosts the signal so it can be detected by a scanner and a microchip with a unique 15 digit number programmed into it. When scanned, the microchip transmits its unique number to the scanner, which is displayed on the scanner screen.
Mini Microchips are also available at just 8mm long and 1.4mm wide. They are easier to insert into the animal and can be implanted safely in smaller animals than the standard microchips.
What are the Benefits?
Microchipping is a permanent way of safeguarding a pet should they go missing and be found straying. It also proves identity should a pet be stolen. The small implanted microchip carries all the data required to reunite pet and owner. You will need to keep your contact details up to date on the microchip databases and if you sell or give any dog away you will have to register the details of the new owner.
It is hoped that the new law to make microchipping compulsory will have a multitude of benefits for dogs and their owners:
Stolen dogs will become easier to trace
It will be easier to trace the owners of lost and found dogs
Ownership disputes can be easily settled
What are the Consequences?
Local authorities and police will be issued with microchip scanners to ensure compliance. If they happen to find a dog without a microchip after April this year, the owner will be asked to have their dog microchipped as soon as possible and this will be checked. If the owner then fails to comply, they will face a fine of up to £500 per dog.