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Dog microchipping becomes compulsory

Wednesday April 6th 2016

More than one million dogs are yet to be microchipped, despite the fact it has become compulsory for pooches to have the procedure carried out from today.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) officials calculate that this equates to over one in every eight British dogs. It means that the amount of dog owners liable for fines could be well into six figures.

Dog owners face maximum penalties of £500 if they do not get a microchip installed in their animals on or before eight weeks after birth. Owners of unchipped pooches have a maximum of three weeks to get the procedure carried out.

George Eustice, the Minister for Animal Welfare, says that the new law aims to keep dogs safe and make it more likely for them to be reunited with their owners if stolen or lost. The chips, which contain 15-digit identification codes, are roughly the size of a grain of rice.

These enable shelter or local councils to scan them if a lost dog is found, matching them to contact data stored in a central database. Ministers estimate that charity kennels and local authorities keep about 120,000 stray dogs.

Copyright Press Association 2016