Compulsory Microchipping

Compulsory Microchipping – Are You Ready?

Compulsory microchipping is an interesting subject. Microchipping is a topic which divides dog owners but also the reason that many dogs have been returned home after being lost, sometimes after many years.

Is your dog microchipped and if not are you ready to get it done?

At the beginning of April this year all dogs are supposed to be chipped. The law states that this is the cut-off date and in the meantime many vets and charities are offering free microchipping in order to prepare dog owners for this date.

A microchip is a small code that is entered into the back of the dog’s neck via a big needle. It’s the thing that gets scanned by rescuers and vets when a dog is found wandering. It’s almost like the 21st Century collar and disk with a phone number on.

The idea behind microchipping is to make people more responsible as dog guardians, by making us accountable for the actions of our dogs. It’s seen by the government as another step towards making the Dangerous Dogs Act effective.

The problem is though that the responsible dog guardians are already responsible. It’s the ones that are not that this is aiming to change. Another interesting thing is that although compulsory microchipping is passed as law, the government recently rejected the law of compulsory scanning. So if you own a dog you must microchip it but if you find one, you don’t have to check it for a chip.

The microchip when it’s in the body will simply stay put. Sometimes they travel a small distance but generally they just sit under the skin. They are administered in the same way as a vaccination and then the owner details are sent away to a standard database.

If you take on a dog that is already microchipped then you can apply to have the details changed to your own contact details and most rescue centres do that too. There have been many instances where dogs have been found, the owners contacted who state that they have sold or given the dog away. Other people are lucky enough to get their dogs home based on a finder that has scanned the dog and contacted the owner through the microchip database.

As I say it really does have a mixed view and some people are not keen to subject their dogs to an implanted chip, particularly the tiny dogs. Others welcome the move and most responsible dog owners are likely to get it done. If your dog needs to be chipped you can contact your local vet to see if they offer it as a free service at the moment, otherwise your local dog’s trust is likely to offer it at some point in your area.

We would love to hear your views on microchipping and whether you think it’s a good or bad move for dogs and their owners. Do get in touch and let us know!