Farmers are being reminded that the new legislation on micro-chipping dogs does not just apply to pets, but also to working animals, such as gun dogs or sheep dogs.
From 6 April 2016, all dogs must be micro-chipped and registered on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old. The only exceptions are those dogs who are certified as exempt for health reasons by a vet. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and could result in a fine of £500.
The scheme has been introduced to promote responsible ownership, and also to help re-unite lost dogs with their owners. Insurers says that they receive hundreds of claims for lost or stolen working dogs, and they are hopeful that the scheme will deter theft and also help find dogs who have strayed from the farm. The move may well help tackle the recent rise in sheep-worrying by dogs, as owners could be more easily traced and held to account for any livestock loss or damage.
The cost of £20-£30 for the procedure seems like a good investment, given the hefty penalty for non-compliance. It’s also very possible that insurance companies will no longer pay out for lost or stolen dogs who have not been chipped.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.
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