Compulsory Microchipping! Good move or a knee-jerk reaction?

20171_PetLog_logoAs some of you may know, microchipping legislation will be coming into place in England on the 6th of April 2016 (Wales a year earlier). I wrote a blog post a while back promoting the use of microchipping by giving some scary yet interesting statistics provided by Petlog.

Do I agree with this legislation, though? Yes and no.

What makes me feel slightly uneasy is the MPs who think solving this problem involves putting this legislation forward and to this date, they haven’t specified any details whatsoever on how they will monetise it, monitor it or even regulate it. All we know is that it’s coming and we must comply.

Wouldn’t it be logical however if instead of telling people ‘If you don’t microchip your dog, you’ll be fined £500 or more‘ it would be more sensible to say ‘If you don’t microchip your dog, you are dramatically decreasing the chances of finding your dog if he/she happens to be lost or stolen‘ – Owners must be reminded that this is a welfare issue above anything else.

A lot of people I’ve been speaking to view this as catching criminals and puppy farmers and tackling animal abuse. I can’t deny that might happen and I’m sure it will help towards that but in comparison, it is minuscule.  At the end of the day, how many irresponsible owners and puppy farmers would want to comply at the end if it increases the chances of them getting caught? Above all, microchips are not going to affect these issues regarding ‘Dangerous Dogs’ to me it’s ill-thought out, rushed and not ‘fit for purpose’ as the saying goes!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could wipe out the issue of ‘Dangerous Dogs’ with a simple chip?

June was Microchipping month.
June was Microchipping month.

If people who want a puppy are aware that all puppies must be chipped and see that they clearly not, they might think again. Saying that there is no information regarding WHEN the dog must be chipped, whether it is before 8 weeks when the puppy is sold or after. No information whatsoever, does this seem like a knee-jerk reaction? It seems so to me.

People mustn’t forget that there is already legislation out there on collar and tag. How is that regulated? I see dogs out in public everyday without any form of collar and tag and I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners are completely unaware of it. I really hope microchipping doesn’t go down this route as well because it’s clearly not working.

A microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice
A microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice

So no, there aren’t going to be men in black jackets and disguises scanning dogs on the street. In times like these where funding is getting squeezed everyday, the police and the local council will have better things to do I’m afraid. Vets can only advise, it’s up to the owner if they comply or not.

I’m just glad in the way the legislation isn’t coming until 2016. This gives us time to really get the message out.


However I’d love to hear YOUR opinion on compulsory microchipping. Do you agree with it?

Have you had an experiencing in chipping or scanning?

Considering there are no indications on how they are going to regulate, monetise or monitor the legislation, how would you regulate it?

Do you even agree with microchipping or feel that there are better alternatives?

I will be writing another blog post including your replies!

Email me at and I’ll post your views on the matter next week!

You can also tweet me your views at @MarkRWalden

2 thoughts on “Compulsory Microchipping! Good move or a knee-jerk reaction?

  1. My 3 dogs are microchipped because of Kennel Club health tests (eyes and hips tested) and they wear collars and tags but vets are now saying that if they scan a dog and it plainly does not belong to the person who brought it for treatment, it is not their problem – they have enough to do without getting police involved etc. So apart from K C ID – what is the point in it all. Collars and tags have always been compulsory but no one gets prosecuted over that – so if no id (that is no collar and tag and no microchip) what can the law do? Some people seem to think that it will stop all sorts of things like aggressive dogs, dog fighting etc but of course it cannot achieve anything.

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