February 7, 2013

Brits must have dogs fitted with microchips

The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

A Jack Russell terrier is scanned for a microchip at the Blue Cross Lewknor Rehoming Centre in London.

The Associated Press

LONDON — Dog owners who refuse to fit Fido with a microchip may someday find themselves fetching a hefty fine, the British government said Wednesday.

All dogs in England will have to be fitted with microchips by 2016, authorities said, meaning that canines across the country will be chasing cars with a tiny circuit embedded in the back of their necks.

Britain's Environment Department said that the chips would help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, promote animal welfare and take the pressure off shelters.

"It's a shame that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down," Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said in a statement. "Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners."

Many British pet owners already have veterinarians insert chips under the skin of dogs, cats and rabbits in a bid to keep track of their animals. The Environment Department says 60 percent of Britain's 8 million pet dogs already have microchips, which can be scanned and matched to their owners' details.

Owners who refuse to fit their dogs with chips face fines of up to $800.

Horse owners have had to chip their animals since 2009, a spokeswoman for the Environment Department said Wednesday. The chips will remain optional for cats -- because dogs are out in public more often than their feline counterparts, a spokeswoman said.

Different parts of the United Kingdom have different rules governing pets: The chips are compulsory in Northern Ireland; Wales is considering such a move; Scotland has no such rule.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at KJonline.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)