Microchipping dogs becomes law on 6 April
After this date microchipping dogs over eight weeks old will become compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales
Breeders will be required to microchip puppies before they are rehomed and anyone who fails to get their dogs chipped could face a fine of up to £500.
The process involves injecting a chip the size of a grain of rice under a dog’s skin. This chip contains a code linking to details of the dog’s owner on a database.
Vet Neil McIntosh from Abbey Veterinary Group, based in the Renfrewshire towns of Paisley and Greenock, said that for the most part dog owners have been compliant with the forthcoming change in the law, with many microchipping dogs ahead of time, but warned against allowing anyone other than a vet to carry out the procedure. “My concern with ‘lay’ chippers is that we have seen a number of ‘chipped’ dogs that no longer have a chip in them, presumably due to loss of the chip due to poor implantation technique,” said Neil.
“We are encouraging everyone who has had a chip inserted to have it checked a month later. If the chip is not placed midline it may migrate down the body wall. If placed in the neck, it may migrate to the legs,” he explained.
Exceptions to the new law include dogs that have been exempted from chipping by a vet due to health reasons, and puppies whose tails have been docked. However, certified working dogs that have qualified for tail docking must still be microchipped before they are three months old.
BASC’s Alex Farrell commented that: “BASC is concerned that many people are unaware of the legislation and their need to take action.”