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One in Nine Lost Dogs Put to Sleep in Scotland

05 January 2015

SCOTLAND, UK - The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling for compulsory microchipping in Scotland, after new figures show one in nine dogs found by local authorities are put down if not claimed.

The figures were obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through a freedom of information request. They showed that local authorities have found 12,530 lost or abandoned dogs in the past four years. Of those, 3248 were rehomed and 395 were put down.

BVA President John Blackwell said: “The euthanasia of healthy dogs is heart-breaking and unfortunate. Although we recognise the pressure on local authorities’ resources, every step should be taken to reunite pets with owners and to rehome healthy animals. Euthanasia should not be a routine way of processing abandoned animals.

“We are pleased to see that almost 8,000 of dogs were reunited with their owners last year and we suspect that many of these reunions would be due to the fact that owners had their pets microchipped.

"The Scottish government should introduce compulsory microchipping as a matter of urgency, such as that being introduced in 2015 and 2016 in Wales and England. Owners should ensure that their contact details are always kept up to date and this allows loved pets to be traced back to them and reunited. This can only be a good thing for animals, owners and wider society.”

Ronnie Soutar BVA Scottish Branch President said: “I know from working and living in Scotland how dear dogs are to the people of this nation and I will not be alone in being dismayed by these figures released today. We all need to work together – owners, the Scottish government, local authorities and animal welfare groups – to make sure how we treat these unclaimed dogs is a true reflection of Scotland’s commitment to animal welfare.”

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