This shocking statistic shows that there is still work to be done to get the microchipping message out to owners and encourage them to act before the law changes in Spring 2016.
When small animal and mixed practice vets were recently asked “What percentage of the dogs you see would you estimate are microchipped?” 94% of Vets in Yorkshire answered between 1 – 75%, meaning the vast majority of vets have at least a quarter of patients without microchips.
By Spring 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales will have to be microchipped and registered on a database by law. Microchipping has been compulsory in Northern Ireland since 2012. Vets and animal welfare groups are working together with DEFRA, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government to reach as many owners as possible before the microchipping regulations come into force.
Vets have lobbied hard for compulsory microchipping of all dogs and are very pleased that microchipping will be mandatory throughout the UK by Spring 2016. But with the vast majority of vets estimating that a quarter of dogs are unchipped there is no room for complacency. I hope that efforts over the next few months will impact on the number of dogs microchipped. At Donaldson’s we are making efforts to help owners take action to ensure that they not only comply with the law but that they protect their much loved pet.
Microchipping is a safe, effective and permanent way to ensure that lost dogs can be reunited with their owners, which is a positive outcome affecting many thousands each year. But microchipping on its own isn’t enough and dogs must be registered on one of the UK microchip databases. Owners must understand the need to keep their details up to date, particularly in relation to change of address or contact numbers. Sadly we encounter too many lost or missing dogs with out-of-date registration details, which then cannot be repatriated with their owners.
From spring next year it will be a Criminal Offence for any owner to own a dog which is not microchipped and where the chip is not registered on a recognised database with up-to-date contact details.
Please contact the surgery for further information.