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Compulsory microchipping: what the new law won’t do

9th April, 2016

New microchipping laws came into force on April 6 requiring all dogs to be microchipped and the details of the keeper be registered and kept up to date on an approved database. In most cases the keeper will be the owner but because the definition of keeper is slightly different to the owner, it may not necessarily be the same person.

Watch CEO Clare Williams explain what compulsory microchipping can’t do

What does this mean for existing dog owners?

While a lot of dog owners will assume that because their pet is microchipped, he or she would be quickly recovered and returned to them if their dog went missing but that is not necessarily the case all the time.

Here are some of the issues:

  • The microchip in itself is not proof of ownership but it may form part of that proof alongside registration documents, a purchase receipt, rehoming contract or vet bills so it is important to keep any of these records together and in a safe place.  
  • There is no requirement for compulsory scanning of microchips. While many dog owners will assume that because their dog is microchipped, he or she will be quickly recovered and returned home if the dog goes missing, but that is not necessarily the case all the time. There is a risk that your dog could never be scanned and no one would know who the registered keeper is.

Your dog is microchipped but what else should owners do?

We strongly urge dog owners not to rely solely on the fact that their dog is microchipped to keep them safe.


FIND our advice sheets on preventing pet theft and what to do if your dog is lost or stolen 

WATCH our video explaining what the law doesn't do

READ our advice sheet on Microchipping 

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