In February, the government announced that from 2016, every dog owner in England must have their animal microchipped.
Following this, the Welsh government have now announced that compulsory dog chipping in Wales will be brought in for 2015, a year ahead of England.
The move has been designed to cut a rise in stray dogs in the UK. Although 60% of dogs in the UK are already microchipped, each year, over 100,000 dogs are either lost or abandoned. Up until now, microchipping has been optional for dog owners.
A Welcome Move
The move has been warmly welcomed by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). BVA president Peter Jones commented:
“Microchipping is a safe, effective and permanent way to link dogs to their owners and is an essential part of responsible ownership. It is a small cost in terms of dog ownership with veterinary practices offering microchipping at a very reasonable price or at a discount or free as part of a practice promotion.”
The move has also seen strong support from the Dogs Trust, with chief executive officer Clarissa Baldwin saying:
“Microchipping involves a minimal one-off cost, but the benefits last a life-time. The reality is that no matter how responsible an owner you are there is a chance your dog could get lost or stolen – micro-chipping is the most effective way to assist in a lost dog being returned to its owner.”
How Can I Have My Dog Microchipped?
Most veterinary practices in the UK can microchip your dog. Currently, you can expect to pay between £20-30 for the procedure. For more information, please see this page on the Dog Trust website.
Remember, it is important you keep your contact details up-to-date once your dog has been registered. For example, if you sell your dog, the details on the microchip must be changed so they reflect the new owner.