RSPCA to host free microchipping event in Lightwood for pets ahead of new law

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RSPCA volunteers are hosting a free microchipping session for dogs at its Stoke-on-Trent branch.

The drop in event will run between 10am until 12pm on Sunday, March 20, at the Yard Community Facility in Lightwood.

Microchipping will be free on the day but donations are welcome.

A small chip under the skin to help identify pets

A small chip under the skin to help identify lost pets.

All dogs in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped and registered on an authorised database before a new law comes into force on April 6, 2016.

Puppies should be microchipped at eight weeks old and official databases include Petlog and Anibase.

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dog owners and breeders will be required to keep their registered details up-to-date.

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animal department, said: “We believe compulsory microchipping is a step in the right direction and, if implemented effectively, could lead to significant benefits to dog owners and their pets.

“A critical issue will be ensuring people keep their contact details and information up-to-date on the databases. This has been a real challenge in the past.”

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the law and vets will be asked to remind people to microchip their dogs.

Once the new rules come into effect, if a dog without a microchip comes to the attention of the authorities, its keeper may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped within 21 days.

Failure to act on the notice means that the keeper may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine.

Lost and stray dogs cost the taxpayer and welfare charities £33 million per year and a microchip makes it much easier to reunite a dog with its owner.

Microchipping will reduce the burden on animal charities and local authorities and help protect the welfare of dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership.

The only exemption from the requirement is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped.

Images supplied by the RSPCA

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