Compulsory Microchipping – Your views (Part 1)

In the last few days I’ve been asking people in all sorts of areas of the animal industry; ‘What are your views on microchipping and the legislation that’s going to be proposed?’

I must say, the responses were astonishing. It’s certainly a subject that a lot of people had strong opinions on. As you can see from the title, I’ve had so many responses that I had to do it in two parts. Here I go through that list;


EGAN PETER Matt Goldsmith

Peter Egan – Actor (Ever Decreasing Circles, A Perfect Spy, Oscar Wilde, Downton Abbey) UK Ambassador for Animals Asia @PeterEgan6 – London

“My thoughts on compulsory microchipping are that all dogs should be microchipped but that will not solve the problem as we have with too many dogs and not enough homes. There have to be stricter controls on careless and irresponsible breeding. Puppy farms should all be closed down.

It’s a huge problem and needs a unified government and local council approach.

No private individual should be allowed to have 3 litters a year Gumtree and other unpoliced websites should not be allowed to free exchange animals. There needs to be a will in government to address the problem. A problem which at the moment is solved by the thousands of small rescues saving dogs and getting them off the streets. There are.. imperatives in place on the DRF webpages which I support completely. Also children need to be educated to understand that dogs are not toys or possessions. Animals our not our possessions, they are our responsibility. Stop Staffies being carelessly bred by kids who have no concern for the dogs welfare. It’s a huge problem and needs a unified government and local council approach.”

GrahamInmanbwcGraham Inman – British Independent Film Producer, ex Volunteer and Fosterer of Labrador & Retriever Rescue South East – Hampshire – @GrahamInman

Compulsory microchipping under the current circumstances has, in my opinion, very limited value, though if your dog goes missing there is a much better chance it will be recovered which I agree with and applaud.

The down side, as I understand it, is that this legislation has been put in place with little or no thought as to how it will be enforced or, probably more importantly, why it was made law in the first place.

People are quick to jump up and down at the sight of what on the face of it seems like a good idea but rarely look deeply into what the actual mechanics are, in this case there seem to be no mechanics at all. Animal welfare should have been the primary design behind this but I fear selling more chips and getting votes were probably the only criteria taken into account. I wonder who’s advise was sought to justify this legislation? I can only think of one large organisation that might have been asked but surely the Kennel Club would have declined to offer advice due to the conflict of interest, wouldn’t they?”


Jason Atherton Bvms CERT CHP MRCVS – Westway Vetinary Group 

“We have 21 surgeries under the banner of Westway veterinary group (includes Westway,Value, Easy, Phoenix vets). We have a busy Emergency center on the 426 West road Newcastle upon Tyne which due to changes in dog wardens hours take strays in all over North East. Obviously we check every Stray or abandoned dog for microchips. This is particularly rewarding when pets are reunited with there owners, but frustrating if details not up to date or not chipped at all. I have thought that a chip that flags up lost or stolen pets would be great idea and along came halo scanners.

A pet is not a designer handbag that can be thrown out once it becomes warn or the owner tires of it, a pet is a commitment for life and therefore should be a considered decision.

We are introducing Halo scanners into our sites. I have not picked up stolen or lost dog with halo yet, but have scanned several pets with no details i.e. not registered , or just not updated details. I find the excuse that vets have not got the time to follow up these anomalies as reported in article in veterinary times August 12th as poppycock, we must be one of busiest vets in the northeast and my team find pride in following these up properly. As article says vets fix pets but really prevention of disease and problems is just as important.

Linking in with this I think compulsory microchipping I believe is so important, I believe the straying dog and the abandonment of pets is at all time high people starting from breeder and following the ownership path people should be responsible from birth to the end of the pets life. photo (12)Charities are struggling again with all the strays, puppies and kittens are once again being bred for cigarette or booze money. A pet is not a designer handbag that can be thrown out once it becomes warn or the owner tires of it, a pet is a commitment for life and therefore should be a considered decision. The cost of microchipping is minimal but if backed up responsible dog ownership, regular scanning and further legislation could help make waves into some of the thousands of poor dogs in cat and dog shelters and rescues throughout the UK.

In fact I would go the whole hog and have V5 type system where paper work follows the dog. The puppies should not be homed until at least 8 weeks of age and micro-chipped. Yes a added cost, but worth it if as a nation we are going to be responsible for our pets and strays. I have emailed my local MP Guy Opperman about this issue and business rates and had a positive response about both acknowledged by two letters. My one reservation with this as passport system clearly has not worked for horses”

Other Responses…

“I think micro-chipping has to be compulsory but more information has to be made available. Pups should be done by 8 weeks and should have the relevant documents to prove this without loopholes for the bad breeders to exploit. At the vet I notice dogs in with microchips that have the wrong details, it’s down to us to get the message out that you have to keep your details up to date.” – Rachael, Nottingham @lolafruitkiss

“Our pup – from a KC-registered breeder – came to us fully vaccinated and microchipped. That should be the norm, and I think it’s what every responsible breeder and owner would want for their dogs. Irresponsible pet owners, puppy farmers and those in the travelling community are unlikely to comply, despite charities offering free microchipping. How will the law be enforced in these cases?” – Bev, Cambridgeshire

The new legislation for compulsory microchipping could be a brilliant way to promote responsible dog ownership if managed properly. At the moment it is compulsory for dogs to wear an ID tag on their collars but we still see dogs without them. If this is not policed what chance is there for the chip to be? The microchip is not proof of ownership so if a dog is out of control the ‘registered owner’ can say sorry I did own that dog but sold it at the pub and don’t know the name of the purchaser.

All my dogs since 1992 have been microchipped but unless they get lost and someone scans them the chip is useless. In this day and age when dogs are often stolen a thief could say that the owner sold it to them but they (the thieves) didn’t change the details on the chip. We need the legislators to look into all of the above and ensure that they are covered before this becomes law. The DDA failed and if this matter isn’t looked into soon so will this legislation.

Sharon, Great Dane Owner, Fundraiser for charities and rescues such as Pup Aid & the AHT, London


Twitter Responses… via @MarkRWalden


Part 2 Coming Soon!

5 thoughts on “Compulsory Microchipping – Your views (Part 1)

  1. For me it was a no brainer. I can’t think of a single reason to not. I am sure the majority of owners think the same. However it is small minority of owners I see who don’t give two hoots for the rule of law in most areas of their lives. Dogs included.

  2. Although my dogs are chipped (for K C health test identification) – I cannot see what help it is for all dogs. Dogs stolen and sold? Vets have said they have enough to do without scanning and discovering their new client may not be the true owner of the dog and reporting them – who to? They would lose the client and the business and it gives them extra unpaid work. Who else is going to check microchips on a random basis? How can it work to benefit the dog. Incidentally it is the law that all dogs must wear a collar and tag.

    1. Absolutely, we all know the collar and tag rules under the Control of Dogs Order 1992 are clearly not working. For one, how can it be enforced? It’s going to be extremely difficult. Police and Dog Wardens have bigger things to worry about and if resources are being cut by the left and right, it’s going to be too much for them. I agree 100% with microchipping, but my main concerns are that if the microchipping legislation comes alongside collar and tag in the Control of Dogs Order 1992 then it’s going to have minimal effects.

  3. As a dog coordinator for a animal welfare, every animal that passes through our hands is micro-chipped with the owners details and also the welfares number is added as a extra precaution. I myself have picked up dead,injured and lost animals and scanned them unfortunately most do not have chips therefore the owner cannot be contacted and after the appropriate period of time the animal can be re-homed on.
    We also try to help people who have lost animals again very few are micro-chipped so there is less chance of the animal being returned.

    The information we we give to the pet log companies needs to be increased so there is more history on the animal from its birth to its death and breeders and owners have to take responsibility for this.

    The new legalisation still has far to go to enable the micro-chip to be used to its full potential this cannot be done without due thought, I agree with Jason Atherton,s comments if we use it do it properly and become fully responsible for its use.
    There are many people who work in animal welfare on a voluntary basis happy to do jobs that will aid a long happy and safe life for all our pets

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