Dog owners must ‘chip in’ or face fine

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All dogs must be microchipped by April 6th © JMU Journalism

All dogs must be microchipped by April 6th © JMU Journalism

Merseyside dog owners could face a £500 fine if their dog isn’t microchipped soon.

The legislation introduced by the government means that on April 6th it will be compulsory for all dogs to have a microchip encoded with their owner’s details.

The law comes after government figures revealed a high amount of dogs being abandoned and lost each year, which in turn costs £57m to the taxpayer and welfare charities.

Gill Greenwood, a spokeswoman for RSPCA spoke to JMU Journalism about the benefits of having your dog chipped: “All dogs need to be microchipped by April otherwise it will be breaking the law.

“I hope it will help lost and stranded dogs. At least by having any form of identification could help get animals back to their owners quicker.”

Dogs Trust Merseyside is welcoming the new law by offering free microchips and installation at their centre in Huyton.

The chip, which is about a centimetre long, is placed on the end of an instrument which looks like a syringe. It is then implanted into the loose skin between a dog’s shoulders.

If a dog is found without a microchip the keeper will have 21 days to ensure the dog is chipped before facing a £500 fine.

This also means that the person with their details on the microchip can be held liable for the dog’s behaviour. The only exemption to this is if the dog bit a burglar or trespasser on the keeper’s property, in which case the owner would not be prosecuted.

People whose dogs are already chipped must pay to change their contact details if needed. The database that registers their details must also be contacted if the dog has died.

About Beth Hughes, JMU Journalism