Compulsory microchipping for dogs in England is only a year away. New regulations come into effect from April 6th 2016. From that point onwards, all dogs must be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old. Owners will also be required to register their pet with an approved database.

You’ll notice that I’ve only said ‘England’ here, not the UK. Wales will also be introducing compulsory microchipping next spring. In Northern Ireland it has been a requirement since 2012. The Scottish Government is still looking at the issue, though organisations such as the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have called for the introduction of compulsory microchipping (here) north of the border.

The director of petDetect, Peter Scott FRCVS, said: ‘The biggest benefit of microchips is that they are the best method of permanent and unique identification. Each microchip transmits a unique identification number and can’t be removed or altered like collar tags or tattoos. They are tiny, virtually painless to place and can be done in very young animals. Once inserted, the animal will never notice the chip’s existence.

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‘To make sure the system is effective, an owner must register the microchip and keep their contact details up to date. This only takes minutes and is key to ensuring the chip can be traced once it is scanned. Collars and tags are still essential (and a legal obligation for dogs) but a microchip increases the chance a pet will come home safely.’

What are your views on microchipping? Share them with us on twitter @PetGazette or pick up a copy of our March issue, where we’ll reveal the opinions of a range of industry experts.

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