The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has circulated information reminding dog owners of the upcoming changes to microchipping laws.
The new rules, which come into force in England, will not only protect the welfare of dogs and promote responsible ownership, but also make it easier to track down the owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people.
After 6 April 2016, owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
Already 83 percent of responsible dog owners have had their pet painlessly implanted with a microchip and their details updated on a national database.
Defra expects local authorities and charities, which would otherwise feed, kennel and home dogs, to make £33 million in annual savings were these dogs microchipped and returned to owners.
Commenting on the new law Animal Welfare Minister George Eustice said: “We are a nation of dog lovers and we want to make sure they stay safe. Microchipping our dogs will not only reunite people with their lost or stolen pets, but also help to tackle the growing problem of strays roaming the streets and relieve the burden placed on animal charities and local authorities.
“Microchipping is vital for good dog welfare and a simple solution for responsible pet owners to provide peace of mind and ensure your much-loved dog can be traced.”