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Why Are People Angry About Mandatory Microchipping?

23 October 2014

ANALYSIS - In 2016 microchipping will become mandatory in England. This will greatly increase the chances of a lost pet being returned to its owner. Gemma Hyland looks at why some seem unhappy with the new legislation.

Government figures show that more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, costing taxpayers and animal charities £57 million.

From 2016, breeders will be responsible for having puppies microchipped prior to selling them and documenting the details of buyers. 

Owners of dogs who aren't already microchipped risk a fine of up to £500 if they refuse to do so. 

It is hoped that new laws will also help to reduce dog owners dumping their pets if they decide they no longer want them.

One of the main concerns with microchipping is that people will be able to access your personal details by stealing your dogs.

Scanning a dogs microchip will only provide a serial number - quite useless on its own. Only an authorised person will be able to scan a microchip, which will show up the serial number linked to the details of the registered owner.

Another reason some are sceptical lies with mistrust of the government and the belief that it is a money-making scam.

However, this is hard to prove as Dogs Trust are offering free microchipping in the lead up to the new legislation.

The government is only set to profit should you fail to microchip your dog, then refuse to do so (private veterinary practices will charge about £20-£30).

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, said: "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’s stolen. The generous support of Dogs Trust will mean that this valuable service can be offered for free to pet owners across the country."

Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, added: "This will help to reduce the number of dogs that needlessly end up with an uncertain fate in council pounds and rescue centres when their owners simply cannot be traced.

"We urge dog owners to view microchipping as part and parcel of dog ownership and, importantly, also take responsibility for keeping their contact details up to date."

Currently there are around 8 million pet dogs in the UK. Nearly 60 per cent are already chipped.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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