It has been announced today (6 February 2013) that microchipping your dog will become a legal requirement from April 2016. The Government has also announced plans to extend the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act to private places.
Many organisations – including Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) – have long been campaigning for the introduction of compulsory microchipping, saying that it will reduce the number of strays, relieve some of the pressure on rehoming charities, help reunite owners with missing pets, and allow authorities to hold irresponsible owners to account.
According to Defra, owners will be able to get their dog microchipped for free at Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and the Blue Cross.
Peter Jones, BVA president, says: “The introduction of compulsory microchipping is a giant leap for dogs and their owners and is something that vets have long campaigned for. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to link dogs to their owners and is an essential part of responsible ownership.”
However, microchipping is a subject that divides opinion. ChipMeNot UK – the campaign against compulsory microchipping – has slammed the Government's proposal.
Charlie Williams of ChipMeNot says: “Introducing compulsory chipping of dogs will not solve the problem of stray dogs. Responsible ownership cannot be legislated into existence. Compulsory chipping would simply be a burden on law abiding owners.”
What do you think? Is microchipping is a step in the right direction?