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New laws have come into effect today (Wednesday 6 April 2016) making it a legal requirement for all dog owners to ensure their pets are microchipped.
Cherwell District Council’s dog warden is reminding owners to ensure they comply with the new law to avoid hefty fines and a criminal conviction.
The new law will run alongside existing legislation which requires all dogs to wear an identity tag when in public.
“From today the laws have changed and all dogs will need to wear an identity tag and be microchipped. The changes have been introduced to promote responsible ownership by ensuring all dogs can be tracked through the microchip and relieve the pressure on dog charities who deal with abandoned strays. It will also benefit owners by being able to reunite lost or stolen dogs much more quickly.
“For anyone who has yet to get their dog microchipped they need to do quickly by contacting either their local veterinary practice or certain dog charities. The process is quick, simple and inexpensive and could save a lot of money, heartache and distress in the future.”
The new laws have been introduced under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 and came into effect today (Wednesday, 6 April). Owners who fail to microchip their dog or keep their details up to date will be served notice and could face a £500 fine and criminal conviction.
The legislation will run alongside existing laws which require all dogs to wear an identity tag in public and failure to do so is punishable by a £25 fine.
Currently Cherwell offers a free dog tag registration scheme to owners living within the district which has won two RSPCA Gold Footprint awards for animal welfare. By registering their pet online owners can include various contact details which are then cross-referenced against a unique reference number printed on the tag.
During the 2015/2016 year Cherwell issued 1,159 dog tags, compared to 1,087 tags in 2014/ 2015 and 755 in 2013/ 2014.
Microchipping ranges from £10 – £30 and can be carried out by veterinary practices, although some animal welfare charities will chip dogs for free. Even with the introduction of compulsory microchipping, it will still remain a legal requirement for dogs to continuing wearing an identity tag.
To register for a free dog tag with Cherwell District Council visit www.tiny.cc/dogregistration
For details on the new microchipping law visit www.gov.uk and search ‘dog microchipping’.
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