Dog microchipping laws: What do the changes mean for you and mans best friend?

Changes originally planned three years ago means that from 6th April 2016 all dogs need to be microchipped, and the chip details need to be linked to the current owners contact details in order to be fully compliant with the new legislation.

Dogs still need to wear a collar and tag that states the name and address of the owner when in a public place.

As well as helping reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, this move will also allow authorities to track down the owners of vicious or illegal dogs.

Northern Ireland led the way in making it law to microchip dogs introducing compulsory microchipping in April 2012, and microchipping for dogs in Wales became law in March 2015.

Also announced in 2013 by the then Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, that people attacked by dogs on private property will be able to press charges.

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 – new laws that were made in February 2015 – it will be compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be fitted with microchips from 6 April 2016.

Microchipping must be down by all legal owners. It is estimated that almost two million dogs are still to undergo the procedure.

Anyone breeding dogs will be responsible for microchipping their puppies before they sell or give them to new keepers. All imported dogs will need to have a microchip. The only exemption from the requirement in legislation is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped.

It’s estimated that thousands of postal workers and hundreds of telecoms engineers are attacked by dogs every year, mainly on private property such as gardens, drives and private roads, and up until now they have not been covered by the law if they are bitten on private property.

The Government said householders will be protected from prosecution if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their land.

Michael Lewin Solicitors Legal Expert Danielle Winter commented “This is an excellent move by the Government as Microchipping will reduce the burden on both animal charities and local authorities and help protect the welfare of dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership. Microchipping is easy to arrange, owners just need to ensure that microchip implanters are trained and competent.”

More information and advice on microchipping is available from the DogsTrust.

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