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Scotland's dog microchip plan moves closer

Monday December 7th 2015

All dogs in Scotland will have to be microchipped from next spring under new legislation making its way through the Scottish Parliament. The plans have gone before MSPs and are due to become law next April to coincide with similar legislation in Wales and England.

Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Parliament's Secretary for Rural Affairs, says the chips are the best way to lower the amount of abandoned, stolen and lost dogs in Scotland. He says it will also help with dog safety and encourage owners to be more accountable for their pets.

The proposals will compel every owner to have their details registered and updated on a database. But Mr Lochhead says the chips will do more than just help owners track down their lost pets.

He says they will help local councils to identify who dogs belong to and hold them responsible for their pets' well-being. Mr Lochhead is urging every dog lover to get their pooch microchipped and keep their records updated.

The Dogs Trust charity, which has microchipped over 11,000 pooches in 2015 alone, is offering free microchipping sessions at its West Calder and Glasgow rehoming centres and at mobile drop-ins. Paula Boyden, veterinary director of the Trust, says she welcomes the new legislation.

Copyright Press Association 2015