microchipWith only 2 months to go before the change in law that makes the microchipping of dogs compulsory (The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015), there are still real concerns that thousands of dogs across the region have not been microchipped.

From 6 April 2016, it will be an offence for any dogof 8 weeks of age or older not to have been microchipped.

Under the new regulations, your dog is considered microchipped when you (1) implant the dog with a chip and (2) register your details on an approved database. If you do not get your dog microchipped or your details registered on an approved database, then it will be considered an offence in accordance  with the regulations and a notice may be served. If the keeper does not microchip their dogs within 21 days of the served notice, then he or she will be liable to a fine of £500.

The aim of the legislation is to encourage responsible dog ownership and to ensure that each dog has an owner who is registered as being legally responsible for their actions.

The words ‘legally responsible’ are used if your dog strays, bites or causes any unjust damage. As the keeper of the dog you are ‘liable’ for the dog that is registered to you. Therefore, as the ‘keeper’ you will be held responsible if your dog has been found to commit such an act, however the ‘keeper’ will be protected from prosecution if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their land.

All dogs are covered by the change in legislation. There are no exemptions with regarding to age. A dog will be legally exempt from being microchipped only when a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons. This needs to be submitted on a form approved by the Secretary of State and can only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Time is running out if your dog is not already microchipped. You need to contact your Vet to arrange for a microchip to be implanted. This is a safe, quick, straight forward process and will ensure that you and your best friend stay on the right side of the law.