Every dog owner will have to microchip their animal by April 6 under a new law intended to cut the rising number of strays in England and boost responsible pet ownership.
Government figures reveal that nationally more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year – at a cost of more than £57m to the taxpayer and welfare charities.
Ministers hope the new law will help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets and relieve some of the burden on animal charities and local councils
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of communities and health, said: “As a dog owner and indeed the owner of a rescued stray dog, I wholeheartedly support this proposal.
“Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it is stolen.”
The change in the law means, from April 6, ALL dogs in England must be microchipped and registered with a ‘keeper’ on an approved database. All puppies must be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old and owner details must be updated when pets are sold.
No dog is exempt from this requirement, unless certified as unfit by a vet on health grounds.
The requirement for dogs to be microchipped is in addition to the requirement for a dog to have a collar and tag (with name and address information) when in a public place. Both make it easier to reunite a dog and owner in the event of it straying or getting lost.
Failure to comply with the legislation could result in a £500 fine.
The Dogs Trust is currently offering free microchipping. For more information visit: www.chipmydog.org.uk