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Leading Veterinary Organisations Reassure Dog Owners Microchipping is Safe

21 April 2016

UK - On 6 April it became law for all dogs in the UK aged eight weeks and over to be microchipped and registered to an approved database.

Responding to recent media coverage discouraging owners from getting small dogs microchipped, the BVA and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) said: “We are shocked by the scaremongering and irresponsible headlines urging people to avoid getting their dogs microchipped and to break the law."

“We’d like to reassure all dog owners that microchipping is a routine and harmless procedure that provides your pet with a form of identification that lasts a lifetime.

“For vets, your pet’s welfare is their primary concern and if they think that microchipping could have an adverse effect on your dog’s health – for example, because of existing ill-health - then they can issue an exemption certificate, but this is not a decision that dog owners should be taking themselves. Adverse reactions to microchipping are incredibly rare and while temporary swelling could occur or migration of the microchip might take place over time these are uncommon and harmless possibilities.

“Very few veterinary surgeons ever see an adverse outcome of microchipping, while many see heartbroken pet owners whose dog has been lost and finding them has been delayed due to lack of a microchip. Last year, 7 in 10 vets could not reunite a dog with its owners because it didn’t have an identifier.

“A microchip that is implanted properly at your local veterinary practice and then checked during your pet’s regular vet visits can save lives as well as emotional heart ache for owners.”

For more information about microchipping, BVA has developed guidance that includes respective responsibilities of vets and owners.

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