Compulsory microchipping

In 2009 Dogs Trust launched a UK wide campaign calling for the compulsory permanent identification of dogs. This campaign has a high level of support from the general public, practicing vets, local authorities and welfare organisations.

In 2009 over 107,000 dogs were picked up as strays by local authorities. Only 42% of these dogs were successfully reunited with their owners. A policy that required all dogs to be permanently identified would have ensured many more were returned home, reducing both costs for local authorities and the number of dogs destroyed.

The numbers of strays dealt with by Local Authorities has increased by a staggering 11% in the last year, with over 9000 dogs being euthanised as result.

Although the numbers of strays dealt with by local authorities has reduced, there are still significant numbers of dogs found straying each year, with nearly 7,000 euthanased as a result.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 currently imposes a requirement on owners to ensure that their dogs wear a collar and tag when in public. Dogs Trust believes the time is right to review the Order to make permanent identification a requirement.

The ability to rapidly identify a stray dog and return it to its owner has a clear welfare benefit for the dog. Dog wardens are already equipped with micro chip readers and therefore we believe that enforcement would not result in significant additional costs to the local authority, indeed we believe considerable cost savings would be made through reducing the need for kennelling.

Over the summer months we took the Dogs Trust 'Chip Van' out on the road. We toured the length and breadth of the UK meeting with politicians and 'pawlitical' figures, to promote compulsory microchipping.

Here is the Chip Van in action in Newcastle with Labour MP Sharon Hodgson.

Sharon said "I would welcome any moves which would lead to an increase in the number of pets with these chips. Compulsory microchipping for all dogs makes good sense. It provides peace of mind for owners and ensures that dangerous dogs can be kept off of our streets."

We are encouraging all our supporters to write to their MPs and urge them to support our compulsory microchipping campaign.

POLICY BRIEFING: The Compulsory Permanent Identification of Dogs