Dog owners must ensure their pet is microchipped and West Lancashire Borough Council is organising an event where they can get the job done for free. New legislation came into force earlier this year which made 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.To help people comply with the new law the Council has teamed up with the Dogs Trust to provide free microchipping for dogs in the Borough on Tuesday 15 November at Tanhouse Community Centre. The microchipping will start at 11am and the queue will close at an appropriate point to ensure that the last dog is seen at 3pm.Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “If you have a dog which is not microchipped please come along to our event where the procedure can be carried out with no charge. It is very important that people comply with this legislation or they could be prosecuted and face a heavy fine.”Dogs may only be exempt from chipping if they have a certificate from a vet. The new law does 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 on microchipping please call the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team on 01695 585254. You can also visit the Kennel Club (external link) and access the information on microchipping dogs.Find out more about the Council’s responsibilities regarding dogs by visiting dogs.Although cats cannot be microhipped at the event at Tanhouse Community Centre the Council is also advising owners of our feline friends that there are benefits to getting their cat microchipped. For example, if a cat is unfortunately killed in a road accident there is a possibility it may be brought back to a council depot. If it has a microchip then staff may be able to scan the cat and find out who the owner is, so they can contact the owner.
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