Have you microchipped your dog?
Posted on 11 April, 2016
New legislation will make it compulsory for UK dog owners have to microchip their dogs by the time they are eight weeks old or face a fine of up to £500.
The law, which was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2012, aims to help more stray or lost dogs to be reunited with their owners.
According to a government report, one million dogs - about one in eight of the estimated UK dog population - are not yet chipped.
If local authorities find a dog without a microchip, owners will have up to 21 days to comply with the law or be fined.
When a dog is microchipped, a tiny chip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the loose skin on the back of its neck, giving it a unique 15-digit code.
If a dog is lost or gets stolen and is picked up by a council or a dog shelter, the microchip can be scanned and matched to contact details stored on a database.
Countries such as Northern Ireland that already have compulsory microchipping have seen a decrease in the number of stray, lost and abandoned dogs according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
However, the new law will not replace current requirements for dogs to wear a collar and tag with their owner's name and address when in a public place.