Hundreds of local dog owners are still breaking the law one year on from the introduction of compulsory microchipping.
Figures released to mark today’s anniversary of the implementation of the scheme reveal 80,000 people in the North West are still flouting the rules.
Thousands of pets are now fitted with a microchip, meaning they can be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen. However, owners are being urged to microchip their dog if they haven’t already and keep the details up to date to ensure they can be reunited should they become lost.
Dogs Trust statistics show that 4,808 strays were reunited with their owners last year, many of these as a direct result of a microchip, proving just how important it is in ensuring lost dogs are swiftly reunited with their owners. However, owners who don’t update their details risk the very real possibility of being permanently separated from their family pet. Hundreds of abandoned, unchipped dogs remain unclaimed in local authority kennels with scores put down after a time. Animal experts believe that whilst more needs to be done to target the minority of dog owners falling foul of the law, the legislation has overall been a positive influence over the past 12 months.
Local councils across the UK have issued 2,751 enforcement notices to owners since the legislation came into force – 1,464 for dogs that aren’t chipped and 1,287 for owners whose details are incorrect on the microchip database. The average fine issued to dog owners was £340, with the maximum penalty recorded as £500. It’s estimated that fines will total around £73,000 over the next five years.
What you need to know about dog chipping?
* As of April 6, 2016, all dogs over the age of eight weeks must be microchipped.
* Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs must wear a collar and identity tag in a public place.
* The tag must show the owner’s name and address.
* Anyone breeding a puppy for sale, is required to microchip the dog at the age of 8 weeks, and register their details to the microchip before the sale.
* The only dogs that shouldn’t be chipped are those with a vet issued Defra exemption form
Alex Jackson, from the Dogs Trust said: “Worryingly, we have noticed a growing number of breeders either not microchipping their puppies or not registering their details on the microchip database, which is compulsory by law. Unsuspecting buyers are then getting their puppies microchipped, not realising that they should already have a chip inserted and be registered to their breeder in order to ensure total traceability.