As of 6th April 2016 it will be compulsory for all dogs, over the age of 8 weeks, in England, Scotland and Wales to be microchipped. Northern Ireland introduced this legislation in 2012. It will also be required for you and your dogs information to be stored on an authorised database, you will also be responsible for keeping this information up to date. If the dog transfers keepers you will also need to update the information unless done so by the previous keeper, you will also need to notify the database when the dog dies.
What information will be kept on the database:
- Full name and address of the keeper
- If applicable if the keeper is the breeder
- If keeper is the breeder and is licensed by the local authority
- Breeders licence number and name of local authority
- original name or identification number of the dog
- Contact telephone number of keeper (if any)
- Name of dog given by keeper
- Sex of dog
- Colour of dog
- Breed of dog or cross breed if applicable
- Date of birth of dog, as accurate as the keeper can be
- Unique microchip number
Working dogs that have had their tail docked by a veterinarian under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, have a time limit of up to 12 weeks to be microchipped. Does not apply to Scotland as tail docking has been banned since 2006.
An exception to microchipping applies if a veterinarian certifies that a dogs health would be adversely affected if they were to be microchipped.
What happens if I don't microchip my dog ?
If it comes to the attention of authorities that a dog isn't chipped then the keeper will be served with a notice requiring them to get their dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper does not get the dog microchipped then they may face criminal prosecution and a fine of £500. A similar fine may be imposed if the dogs details are not kept up to date. If a dog is not microchipped then the dog can also be seized and microchipped at the owners expense.
Who can microchip a dog ?
- A veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse under the direction of a veterinary surgeon
- A student veterinary surgeon or nurse under the direction of a veterinary surgeon
- A person who has satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the secretary of state or
- A person who before the date the regulations come into force has received training, including practical experience, of implanting chips
There are free microchipping events going on around the country you can check out the Dogs Trust scheme here. Alternatively you can go to your local vets where they may have offers or it can be around £20 - £30 for microchipping.