From today (April 6) it is a legal requirement for all dogs to be micro chipped and contact details up-to-date.
Lincolmnshire Police has issued this list to answer the most asked questions.
Will compulsory micro chipping for dogs be government-controlled?
The Micro chipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 will be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations.
Is compulsory micro chipping now proof of ownership/keepership?
No, micro chipping will not be proof of ‘ownership’. The words ‘owner’ and ‘ownership’ have been replaced by the words ‘keeper’ and ‘keepership’ for this very reason.
Will compulsory micro chipping mean legal ‘Keeper / Ownership’?
The words ‘legally responsible’ are used if your dog strays, bites or causes any unjust damage. As the keeper of the dog you are ‘liable’ for the dog that is registered to you. Therefore, as the ‘keeper’ you will be held responsible if your dog has been found to commit such an act, however the ‘keeper’ will be protected from prosecution if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their land.
How long has a person got to get a dog micro chipped if they get one after April 2016?
From the 6th of April 2016, all dogs must be micro chipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old.
If a keeper of a dog which is not micro chipped gets served with a notice requiring them to have the dog chipped, they will have 21 days to do this.
At what age is a dog exempt?
There are no exemptions with regarding to age. A dog will be legally exempt from being micro chipped only when a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons. This needs to done on a form approved by the Secretary of State.
What is the minimum age a puppy has to be before being chipped?
There is no minimum age specified in the regulations. The puppy only has to be micro chipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. The government advises that the dog be healthy enough to be implanted and sufficient time is allowed for the database to process the registration in order to ensure that the dog is compliant with the regulations by the time they are 8 weeks old.
Is there a fine/penalty if I don’t get my dog micro chipped?
Yes. Under the regulations, your dog is considered micro chipped when you (1) implant the dog with a chip and (2) register your details on an approved database. If you do not get your dog micro chipped or your details registered on an approved database, then it will be considered as not complying with the regulations and a notice may be served. If the keeper does not microchip their dogs within 21 days of the served notice, then you will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
Is there a fine/penalty if I don’t keep my database details up to date?
Yes. Under the regulations, your dog is considered micro chipped when you (1) implant the dog with a chip and (2) register your details on an approved database.
If any keeper subsequently moves, changes contact telephone number, etc. then the dog is no longer considered micro chipped under the regulations and enforcement can be taken and a notice served. If the keeper does NOT get their details up to date within 21 days of the served notice, then you will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
What is the purpose of a microchip database?
When a pet is micro chipped the unique Microchip Number and your contact details along with important information on the pet – need to be held in a secure location / and be accessible 24/7 365 by any Authorised Agent finding the pet.
Petlog is the UK’s largest lost and found database for micro chipped pets. Its customer care team are based in the UK and available 24/7 365, operating to ISO 9001/2 standards and is managed by the Kennel Club.
What documentation will be issued to the registered keeper?
The keeper will be able to download their confirmation of registration via the website for their microchip number and Petlog ID upon validation of registration.
Why do Microchip databases charge fees for amending / changing details?
The fee that is paid at the point of microchip implantation does not go to the databases; this is the reason why databases request a fee when a change of details is required - to ensure the promise of a 24/7, 365 lifetime service to its customers.
Will the microchip expire?
The microchip will have an expiry date on the packaging but this is purely for implantation purposes and not an expiry date for the function of reunification.
If there is more than one Microchip database – how do I know where my details are being stored – do I get a choice?
We always recommend that before having your pet micro chipped – you ask what microchip is being used and which database it is aligned to. Your pet’s details and your contacts details are very important – and you should consider where this information is being stored – and the service level that accompanies this.
How will owners know their dog’s microchip is registered with Petlog?
When a pet is micro chipped the keeper will be given documentation by the implanter for them to keep, this contains the microchip number and database with contact details of where their record will be held.
The implanter will also forward this information directly to the respective database, where all the details will be held. If the keeper of the pet does not receive confirmation of registration within 14 days they should check the paperwork given by the implanter on the day, contact the relevant database.
If the keeper knows the microchip number they can easily go online to check if the dog is registered on the Petlog Microchip Look Up.
How can owners “keepers” check the details on their dog’s microchip are up to date?
Easy, online at place the pet’s microchip number in the Look Up a Microchip search. If the microchip number is one that is registered with Petlog the keeper can create an account or login and then check the details recorded with Petlog.
What is Petlog’s procedure for changing details in situations where both previous owner and new owner might not express consent, such as when a dog is unclaimed from the pound, or if the previous owner has died?
On most occasions both parties can be put in touch with each other and a resolve made.
In the case of the death of a previous keeper, the database has a process to deal with this, and will be happy to discuss with the customer in this unfortunate event. In respect of other keepership issues, on the rare occasion that consent is not given then the record is ‘locked’ and can only be dealt with by a member of our Customer Care Team. The primary role is to reunite lost pets with their keepers. When keepership issues arise, if they cannot be reconciled by agreement between two conflicting parties, the dispute over keepership will then become a civil matter.
(Information provided by Petlog.)
You should also remember that -
A dog should also have a collar and tag as this is still a legal requirement and a microchip doesn’t replace the need for a collar and tag. If your dog has a collar and ID tag with the owners contact details - it is more likely that the dog will be returned without being collected as a stray and fees incurred.