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June is Microchipping month!

Microchipping is to become compulsory in England by April 2016. The benefits of microchipping include:

  1. All puppies are traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidences of infectious diseases and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer.
  2. Deterrent to dog theft. Was thought to be more of a problem down south but I understand it is happening in Scotland too.
  3. Allows rapid return of strays and lessen the likelihood of a dog straying again through the opportunity to educate owners about their responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
  4. Enables veterinary surgeons to contact owners if dog is brought to them in an emergency situation. I am so relieved when an animal comes in and they are microchipped, and I can let the owner know and get on with making them better. So often injured or stray dogs and cats are brought to us with no collar or tag. One point to make as the law stands at the moment your dog must have a collar and tag on when its out identifying you as the owner with you contact details.
  5. Enables identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs and owners can be moved and reunited more quickly.
  6. Aids identification in animal cruelty cases and therefore subsequent arrests.

It’s not just Dogs that can be microchipped so can cats, rabbits, birds, horses.... And taking about cats, did you know there are move cats flaps that will only open if the right microchip comes along! Your cat can now have its own key and not be able to bring his/her friends (or enemies) home! No more can that wandering tom cat come in help itself to your act food and spray it’s urine round you home! I have lost count of the number of collars, tags and magnets my cats have lost over the years!

It is implanted by injecting it out of a sterile needle.  In dogs and cats it is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. It’s about the size of a grain of long grain rice.

It is designed neither to irritate nor to move and rarely does. It can be done conscious (ie no need for sedation/general anaesthetic).The animal very occasionally bleeds from the injection sites so I believe it is best done in a controlled environment like a veterinary practice in case this happens.

It is read by passing a scanner over the area, effectively reading it’s unique bar code and a long number come up on the screen. This number is meaningless unless it is registered with an appropriate data base. Scanners are held at veterinary practices, local authorities and animal welfare groups. The related contact information is only released to authorised persons only (Dog wardens, veterinary practices, animal welfare charities) and are PIN/passwords protected.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will in time consider making microchipping compulsory but if (or when) it comes microchipping is a good thing to do now not just when you are forced to by law.