Think chips for your New Year’s Resolution

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With less than 100 days to go until microchipping becomes compulsory for all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales (6 April), the British Veterinary Association (BVA) are urging dog owners to make it a New Year’s Resolution to get their canine companions chipped.

Microchipping a dog is an easy and harmless procedure and provides your pet with a form of identification that lasts a lifetime.

Each chip has its own code that is revealed when scanned by a vet, which correlate to owner’s details on a database.

A microchip provides vets with all of the information required to reunite stray or lost dogs with owners, with figures from BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey revealing that the most common reason vets could not reunite missing dogs with their owners was due to a lack of identifier (reported by 71% of vets); followed by 23% of vets citing incorrect information on the microchip database as the second most common reason.

Sean Wensley, President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: “Getting your dog microchipped is a great way to start the New Year.

It’s also essential, and part of the new legal requirement, that details on the microchip database, such as a change of address and contact numbers, are kept up to date by owners.

It’s not uncommon for vets in practice to see pets with out-of-date information that they are then unable to reunite with their worried owners.”

As a member of the Microchipping Alliance, BVA was part of a coalition of animal health organisations and charities that campaigned to secure compulsory microchipping of all dogs across the UK – with Northern Ireland leading the way as the first country to introduce legislation in April 2012.

From 6 April 2016, failure to have a dog microchipped or to not update database details can lead to a fine of up to £500.

More information on the incoming legislation, as well as posters for veterinary reception areas can be found at www.bva.co.uk/Microchipping.