“Whilst microchipping is a positive move in principle, the PCTA would like some reassurances, particularly over how enforceable and robust these measures will be,” remarked PCTA chief executive Nigel Baker.
“Dog owners ought to be made aware, for example, of the need to update the microchip registration companies of any change of address, which itself incurs a charge. If records are not updated or are incomplete the microchip becomes redundant.
“Another concern is with the scale of the task ahead. We commend the Dog’s Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on their generosity in offering free microchips for all unchipped dogs. With some 3.2 million dogs currently not chipped – and around 500,000 puppies arriving each year – this is a tall order.
“We understand the free chips will be supplied through the three charities’ rescue centres as well as some veterinary surgeries. Over the next three years about 30,000 dogs will need to be chipped each week in order to comply with this new legislation.
“In order for dog owners to have a broad choice of trusted organisations they can go to, we would like to suggest the free microchips are made available to appropriate pet care specialists to offer customers. Dog groomers and pet retailers are an excellent alternative to vets in this instance.
“Microchipping could become easily accessible and normalised if it were part of a routine grooming session or retail experience. A specialist group has already been trained in microchip implantation by the Pet Care Trade Association. We look forward to discussing these possibilities further with the parties involved, if they are willing.”