Dog owners are being advised by West Lancashire Borough Council to make sure they have their pet microchipped before a new law comes into force.
All dogs in England will need to be microchipped by Wednesday 6 April 2016. New legislation brought in under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 will make it a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and their details kept up to date.
Anyone failing to meet these requirements can be served with a 21-day notice giving them the opportunity to get their dogs chipped. Failure to comply can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £500.
Dogs with microchips that are not up to date will be deemed as not microchipped. Owners again will be served with a 21 day notice to complete the update. The microchip needs to be registered to the dog’s keeper and their address, which means to the person and to the address where the dog habitually resides.
There will also be a requirement for all breeders who breed from female dogs to have the puppies microchipped before they are eight weeks old. Puppy buyers need to ensure that their puppies have been chipped and registered before taking their dogs home.
It will be an offence under the new legislation to sell on or transfer any dog that has not been microchipped and registered. New owners are also legally responsible for ensuring their new pet is microchipped and details are kept up to date.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said: “It is very important that people comply with this legislation or they could be prosecuted and face a heavy fine. So if you are a dog owner make sure your pet is microchipped and the chip is up to date.”
Dogs may only be exempt from chipping if they have a certificate from a vet. The new law will not replace the requirement for a dog to wear a collar and tag in a public place. It is an additional piece of legislation. Currently dog owners can be fined up to £5,000 for not having collar and tags on their dogs.
For more information please call the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team on 01695 585254. For further information you can log onto The Kennel Club (external link) and access the information guide ‘Why should I microchip my pet?’