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Animal Tracker registration for dogs.Animal Tracker registration for dogs

The UK Law of Pet Microchipping

In an age where technology plays an integral role in our lives, it's no surprise that even our beloved pets are not exempt from its influence. In the United Kingdom, the law of pet microchipping has emerged as a vital tool for safeguarding animals and ensuring responsible pet keepership.

Microchipping Law

The UK introduced the mandatory pet microchipping law on April 6, 2016, making it a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be microchipped. While this law initially focused on dogs, its principles are now expanding to encompass other animals, such as cats. It is now also compulsory for all cats throughout England (only) to be microchipped by June 2024. Failure to comply with these laws could result in a £500 fine.

The Purpose of Microchipping

Identification and Reunification: The primary purpose of microchipping is to provide a reliable and permanent method of identifying animals. Each microchip contains a unique identification number that must be registered to the keeper's contact information in a DEFRA-compliant database like Animal Tracker. This ensures that lost or stolen pets can quickly reunite with their families.
Responsible Keepership: The law aims to promote responsible pet keepership. By mandating microchipping, keepers are held accountable for their pets, which can lead to better care, reduced abandonment rates, and improved animal welfare.
Crime Deterrence: Microchips also serve as a deterrent against pet theft and illegal breeding operations. The ability to trace an animal's history and keepership through its microchip can help authorities identify and prosecute those involved in such activities.

Benefits of Microchipping

Lost and Stolen Pet Recovery: Microchipping significantly increases the chances of reuniting with a lost or stolen pet. Unlike collars and tags, which can be removed or damaged, microchips provide a secure and permanent form of identification.

Reduced Stray Populations: By promoting responsible keepership and making it easier to identify keepers of abandoned animals, pet microchipping can reduce the number of stray animals on the streets.

Crime Prevention: The law acts as a deterrent to pet theft and illegal breeding practices. Criminals are less likely to steal or breed animals if they know their activities can be easily traced through microchips.

Health and Safety: Microchips are tiny, biocompatible devices that do not pose health risks to pets. They can't be lost or forgotten, ensuring a pet's identification is always readily available.

The Role of Implanters and Pet Keepers

Implanters play a crucial role in the implementation of the microchipping law. They are responsible for the implant procedure, ensuring it is done correctly and that the microchip's unique identification number is handed over to the breeder. The breeder, by law, must be the first registered keeper.  Pet keepers must then transfer keepership over to them and keep their contact information up-to-date in the database to ensure they can be reached if their pet is ever lost.

The UK law of pet microchipping is a significant step forward in ensuring pets' safety, well-being, and responsible keepership. By mandating the microchipping of dogs, cats, and other animals, the UK government has proactively promoted animal welfare and reduced pet-related crimes. This law helps reunite lost pets with their keepers and encourages responsible keepership practices, ultimately benefiting both pets and their human companions. It's a small chip with a big impact, ensuring that our furry friends are never truly lost.