Compulsory Microchipping


Key Statistics

  • Over 100,000 dogs either stray or are lost or stolen each year
  • Local authorities and welfare charities spend around £57 million per year on kennelling costs
  • Over 50% of strays cannot be returned because their owners cannot be identified
  • 6,000 dogs are euthanased each year because their owner cannot be found
  • Of 450,000 dogs in Wales, approximately 58% are already microchipped 

What microchipping involves

Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure which makes reuniting dogs with their owners much more likely. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime.

The KC view

The Kennel Club is in favour of microchipping being compulsory for all dogs and contributes greatly to the promotion of microchipping through various events, including National Microchipping Month. The Kennel Club also manages the UK's largest pet reunification database, Petlog.

The Kennel Club, through all its activities and particularly through its Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme, seeks to educate all dog owners about the benefits of responsible dog ownership, including microchipping.

In addition, it is a requirement of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme that all members must permanently identify dogs used for breeding and since January 2010, all dogs presented under the BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes must also be permanently identified by microchip or tattoo.

The Kennel Club has pledged to gift microchip scanners to every local authority in England and Wales in support of the government's decision to introduce compulsory microchipping for all dogs.

Where we are

Governments across the UK have announced a package of measures to promote responsible dog ownership which includes the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs. In England, Wales and Scotland, this requirement will be introduced by way of secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, and is effective from 6th April 2016.

From this date, dog owners/breeders will need to have their dogs microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases available, such as Petlog, and subsequent keepers of the dog will have to register their details and keep them updated. Failure to comply could result in dog owners being fined up to £500. 

In Northern Ireland compulsory microchipping was the final provision to be introduced under the Dogs (Amendment) Act (NI) 2011. Since 9 April 2012, all dogs held under an individual dog licence must be microchipped. The Act also provided powers to specify the technical specification of microchips to be used and introduced new record keeping requirements for all holders of a block licence issued for multiple dogs.

For more information on compulsory microchipping of dogs, visit the Chip It, Check It website:
A one-stop shop for everything you need to know about compulsory microchipping, from checking a microchip to advice, tips and downloads for breeders, vets, dog owners and more to ensure all dog owners and breeds are complying with the law.

Version suitable for printing
A Veterinary Guide to Compulsory Microchipping for Dogs
A Breeder's Guide to Compulsory Microchipping for Dogs
A Guide to Compulsory Microchipping for Welfare Organisations

Related Topics

MicrochippingResponsible Dog Ownership

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