Owners reminded to get dogs microchipped as new law comes in on 6 April

5 April 2016

Dog owners across the Harrogate district are being reminded that from 6 April this year all dogs will be legally required to be microchipped.

Microchipping is one of the best ways for owners to increase the chance of their dogs getting home if they wander or are stolen.

Unlike dog tags and collars, which can be taken off or can fall off, micro chipping is a more permanent way to identify a dog – although dogs must legally wear a collar and tag as well.

Micro chipping is an easy and painless process. The microchip is very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and is put under a dog’s loose skin, on the back of the neck. Once this has been done, the dog has its own unique code.  If a dog becomes lost or stolen and is picked up by one of the council’s dog wardens or turns up at a shelter or vets’ surgery, the microchip can then be scanned and matched to the owners’ contact details, which are kept on a database. After 6 April, the new law will also require owners to keep their database details up to date.

Over the last three years Harrogate Borough Council’s dog wardens have been hosting free micro chipping events to help prepare owners and their dogs for the new legislation. Over this period over 600 dogs have been microchipped. The next free microchipping session will take place at the Cross Keys pub on Cheapside in Knaresborough on Wednesday 6 April itself, from 11am until 3pm.

Under the regulations, a dog is considered microchipped when it has been implanted with a chip and the owner has registered their details on an approved database.

If a dog owner subsequently moves, or changes their contact details, the dog is no longer considered microchipped under the regulations and enforcement can be taken and a notice served. If the keeper does not get their details up to date within 21 days of the served notice, they will be liable to pay a fine of £500.

Mark Lee, Environmental Health Officer at Harrogate Borough Council said:

Micro chipping is a great idea.

Microchipping will make it easier for our dog wardens or the police to trace the owners of missing dogs which in turn means they can be reunited with their pets as quickly as possible.

The law also has the benefit of helping in the control of dangerous dogs as it creates a link between a dog and its owner.

I would urge any dog owner who hasn’t already had their dog microchipped to do so now and those who have their dog microchipped to check their details are up to date.

For more information on microchipping visit https://www.dogstrust.org.uk

You can also find out where you can get your pet microchipped by visiting www.petlog.org.uk and entering your postcode.

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