The microchipping of pet dogs will be compulsory since April 6. All dogs, older than eight weeks, must be chipped and registered at the UK Pet Microchipping Registration and Database.
Microchipping is done by a veterinarian and it lasts only few seconds. The vet implants a little chip under the animal’s skin.
Tracy Murphy, a Practise Manager from the Roker Park Veterinary Centre, said it is similar to injection. The microchip has a “size of a grain of rice” and it is implanted into the back of the neck – usually the left side.
“Most pets accept this quick procedure very well and with minimal discomfort,” she added.
The microchip has a unique 15 digit code that stores the dog’s and also its keeper’s information. If a missing pet is found, by scanning the chip it will be easier to find its owner.
As a registered ‘keeper’, you are liable for any damage that your dog causes. If your dog has not been chipped, you could get a notice to do so within 21 days. If the keeper ignore this warning he/she will have to pay a fine of £500. This fine applies also when you forget to update your details in register on approved database – www.petlog.org.uk.
“It is vital to update these details as if the old owner does not change these they could be held responsible if the dog gets out,” explains Andrea Parkin, who is a founder of Animal Krackers – an animal rescue and rehoming charity in Sunderland
She sees as a benefit the fact that more information about a pet can be recorded , such as: age, vaccine details, neutered status etc.
Mrs Parkin says that this follows a change in a Dangerous Dogs Act. She also addd that the Government wants to make sure that if a dog “dangerously out of control” is found, they will be able to find its owner thanks to the micro chip implant.
She added: “Responsible owners will always do their best to keep their dogs safe, but there is always a chance that the dog could be stolen and sold on. At least the microchip is unique to the dog so it can be identified. The law also states dogs on the highway should have a collar with a name tag of owner’s details. This means it is easy to contact the owner and get the animal back home sooner.”
The expense of this procedure is various depends on who does it. At a veterinarian centre do microchipping from £10 to £15, but some organisations offer chipping for free.
“The cost varies greatly depending on where you have this done.
Some councils or charities will provide this free of charge,” claims Mrs Murphy.