The Government will bring in compulsory microchipping in a bid to help reunite lost or stolen dogs with their owners, as well as to “protect the welfare of dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership”.
The Kennel Club, which has welcomed the move, plans to give microchip scanners to every local authority in England and Wales.
The club will do this in conjuction with Petlog, a lost-and-found database for microchipped pets.
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “After speaking with dog owners around the country, we are confident compulsory michropping will be very well received.”
The Countryside Alliance also welcomed the move, but warned that there must be affordable and widely available training to those carrying out the procedure.
Countryside Alliance executive chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner said: “Dog theft is a growing problem in many rural areas and has a devastating emotional, as well as financial, impact. Trained, pedigree dogs are a valuable commodity and are being targeted by professional gangs.”
He added: “The Government must ensure that there is no easy way of replacing or cloning microchip data and consider how microchips can be used to counter this growing crime.”