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Compulsory Microchipping April 6th 2016

Why did Government decide to make it compulsory?

·All puppies will be traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidence of infectious disease and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer

·Deterrent to dog theft

·Allows for rapid return, meaning that local authorities are able to emphasise to the dog owners concerned that straying is not acceptable, the intention being that this education will lessen the likelihood of a dog straying again and reinforce the responsibilities of the owners under the Animal Welfare Act 2006

·Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty

·Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners in emergency situations

Allows identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs and owners can be moved and reunited more quickly

So what are the regulations?

What age do puppies need to be microchipped?

Any dog over the age of eight weeks will be legally required to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by 6 April 2016. It’s up to the breeder to microchip the dog and for each subsequent new owner to ensure the details have been changed and are up-to-date.

A dog is only exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies in writing that they cannot be microchipped for health reasons or If a veterinary surgeon has certified that a dog is a working dog and docked its tail in line with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 then the time limit for the dog to be microchipped and recorded on a microchip database is extended to 12 weeks.

What happens if I someone doesn’t get their dog microchipped?

If a dog isn’t microchipped and/or registered on an approved database then the keeper could be served with a notice ordering them to microchip their dog. They’ll have 21 days to do so or may be liable to pay a £500 fine and could face criminal prosecution. If their contact details change and they don’t update their details on the database, then they could also receive a notice and may be liable to pay a fine of £500.

A keeper is selling/giving their dog to someone else, what do they do?

Before selling a dog or giving him/her away to a new owner, they must microchip them and it’s recommended that they also register the details of the new owner on the database. The new keeper is responsible for ensuring their contact details are registered.

I am buying a puppy from a breeder, will it be microchipped?

All dog breeders are responsible for ensuring puppies are microchipped before selling them. Puppies must be microchipped by the time they are eight-weeks-old. Puppies cannot be sold until they’re eight weeks old. Breeders must also register their details online to be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.

In these Regulations, a person is considered to be a ‘breeder’ if they are the owner of a dog which gives birth, whether or not they carry on a business as a breeder of dogs.

How can keepers find out if their dog is microchipped or if their details are up-to-date?

If their dog is microchipped they should have a confirmation letter or email including an ID or reference number as well as a microchip number. If they know which database their pet is registered on, they can check their details are up-to-date by logging in online. Or, they can contact the database team over the phone.

To find out if their dog is microchipped, or to find out the microchip number, we will continue our ‘check the chip’ campaign and check at any opportunity. Once they have the microchip number, they can use a chip checker online to find out which database he is registered with.

What if a dog’s microchip doesn’t work properly?

Microchips are designed to cover the dog’s lifespan but occasionally they fail to work.

Anyone who finds that an implanted microchip has migrated (moved), failed, or cause an adverse reaction to the dog, must report it to the microchip adverse event reporting scheme run by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. We are doing this. A new FOC chip can be placed and registered.

Who is enforcing the regulations?

The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 will be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations. Currently this is not down to vets. We can only advise people of the law.

Is compulsory microchipping now proof of ownership / keepership?

No, microchipping will not be proof of 'ownership'.The words 'owner' and 'ownership' have been replaced by the words 'keeper' and 'keepership' for this very reason. The words 'legally responsible' are used if a dog strays, bites or causes any unjust damage. As the keeper of the dog you are 'liable' for the dog that is registered to you.

How long has a person got to get a dog microchipped if they get one after April 2016?

There is no grace time period given to get dogs chipped after this date. From the 6th of April 2016, all dogs must already be microchipped and registered to an approved database & pups by the time they are 8 weeks old. For every dog that is currently not microchipped, they will have until 6th of April to get them microchipped and registered on an approved database. If a keeper of a dog which is not microchipped gets served with a notice requiring them to have the dog microchipped, they will have 21 days to do this.

What happens if the breeder registers the new owner as the first keeper instead of themselves?

The breeder must always be the first registered keeper of the puppies and it will be illegal for the breeder to not be listed as a keeper on the database. The breeder must also provide microchipping documents to the puppy buyer to ensure the new owner can update their details in order to comply with the law.

What happens if the puppy given to the new owner doesn’t match the microchip number?

All breeders must ensure that they can clearly identify that the microchipping paperwork matches the puppy being sold to the new owner. Refer back to the breeder- they are liable under the new law!

What if I am concerned about tiny breeds being chipped so young?

We are obtaining some new tiny microchips with smaller needle for small dogs. The normal size will continue to be used for medium & large breeds as they are easier to find once the pup grows.

At what age is a dog exempt?

There are no exemptions with regarding to age. A dog will be legally exempt from being microchipped only when a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons. This needs to done on a form approved by the Secretary of State.

Does it cost money to register a transfer of ownership or change of details?

Yes on Anibase this is currently £6 but you can upgrade this to the ‘Locate’ service with Anibase.

Additional benefits of Locate..

·FREE changes of address (usually costing £6.00).

·FREE addition of holiday addresses (usually costing £6.00).

·Automatic alerts on Twitter if lost.

·Publish a photo on their pets ANIBASE record (to ensure your posters can be created quickly and easily).

·Link pets on ANIBASE (For quick amendments to multiple records).

·Membership pack including a fridge magnet, keyring, and membership card.

Locate is available to pets registered on ANIBASE for only £17.95 for a period of 8 years (Less than £2.25 per year).

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