Dog microchipping now compulsory across UK
From April 2016 it will be a legal requirement for ALL dogs to be microchipped and contact details up-to-date. Every pet dog in the UK must be microchipped by the time it is eight weeks old, otherwise its owner could be face prosecution by their council and a fine of up to £500.
It is hoped that the law will reduce the number of strays and combat the illegal dog trade. In Northern Ireland, where the law has been in place since 2012 there has been a reduction in strays and an increase in the number of lost dogs being reunited with their owners.
The microchip used is approximately the size of a grain of rice, inserted under the loose skin on the back of the dog’s neck and gives the pet a unique 15-digit code.
If a dog is lost or gets stolen and is picked up by a council or a dog shelter, the microchip can be scanned and matched to contact details stored on a database.
Charities such as the Dogs Trust, some local authorities and some vets will microchip dogs without charging.