Last week, I joined the Dog Trust in raising awareness of the new law that comes into effect meaning all dogs must have a microchip by 6th April 2016 in England and Wales.
Microchipping gives people the assurance that should your dog become lost or be stolen they are more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.
Microchipping also has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
• All puppies are traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidence of infectious diseases and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer
• Deterrent to dog theft
• Allows for rapid return, meaning local authorities are able to emphasise to the dog owners concerned that straying is not acceptable, the intention being that this education will lessen the likelihood of a dog straying again and reinforce the responsibilities of owners under the Animal Welfare Act 2006
• Easier identification and subsequent arrest of owners culpable of animal cruelty
• Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners for emergency procedures
• Allows identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs and owners can be moved and reunited more quickly.
With just one week to go before microchipping becomes compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, brought its larger than life mascot ‘Dogcilla’ to Westminster, following a 145,942 mile cross-country tour to raise awareness of microchipping law changes coming into effect on 6th April this year.
It is vitally important that we are all responsible dog owners. This new law will ensure that it is easier to find lost or stolen dogs and bring those to justice who commit animal cruelty.
We are a nation of dog lovers and we all want what’s best for our pets. Many of you will have already have microchipped your dogs but I want to raise awareness for the few people have not yet done so.
I welcome these reforms as they build upon the hard work done by the previous Labour government contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006.