All dogs over the age of eight weeks must be chipped to ensure their owners can be traced if the animal is lost, goes astray or is stolen.
The process is quick and simple – a chip, roughly the size of a gain of rice, is inserted under the skin between the shoulders. No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should be no more uncomfortable than a vaccination.
The chip ensures the owner’s details are linked to the chip number and can be scanned using a hand-held device to ensure quick and easy identification. It’s vital that the owner keeps those details up to date – for example if they move house. Dogs must still wear a collar and ID tag.
If a dog is not chipped, the owner will be allowed 21 days to comply with the law – and if they fail to do so they stand being fined £500.
West Somerset Council has previously worked with the Dogs’ Trust to provide free micro-chipping sessions in Williton, Minehead and Dulverton before this law came into force.
Cllr Martin Dewdney, the Council’s Lead Member for environment, said: Most responsible dog owners already have their dog microchipped as a matter of course. For those who have not taken up the opportunity, our advice is do it now! It’s also vital to ensure owners keep their details up to date so that if the dog does go missing for whatever reason they could be reunited far more quickly.
Time in kennels is costly and can be distressing for the dog so it makes sense to have them chipped so they can be identified quickly.”
Debbie Rundle, on behalf of West Somerset Council,01984 635280 or 01823 356407 email email@example.com