As of this morning, the government has created a further dog-related offence that creates an obligation upon dog owners to have their dogs microchipped.
Increase in Dog-Related Legislation
As a lawyer and dog owner, I can’t help but question whether such legislation is really necessary. Not only, quite properly, am I liable to arrest should young Teddy choose to involve himself in fisticuffs resulting in harm to other dogs or humans but, since 2005, should I let him off the lead, carry insufficient poop bags to collect his business, or allow him to worry the local sheep I’m similarly likely to end up with a criminal conviction. God forbid I take him out without his collar on – another offence.
On top of all that, this new legislation provides that all dogs not currently microchipped will have to be chipped and subsequently registered on a government approved database. Breeders are to ensure puppies are chipped by eight weeks of age and before being transferred to a new keeper. The new keeper will be responsible for updating the database with their details although, bizarrely, there doesn’t appear to be a requirement to update the database, on moving house for example.
Is The New Dog Legislation Necessary?
Other than protection against theft, I’m not sure what microchipping adds to the current requirement that dogs wear a collar with a tag containing the owners name and address. Those with, expensive, sought-after breeds, at risk of being stolen are likely to have their pooch chipped in any event and there is a real concern that this is additional unwarranted expense for, for example, widowed pensioners with little income.
Free Dog Microchipping
Whilst microchipping usually costs between £15-20, the good news is that the Dogs Trust is offering free dog chipping in consideration of a donation at numerous centres around the country. Their website provides details of events in your area.
Olliers Solicitors – Specialist Criminal Defence Lawyers
Written by Tim McArdle. Tim is an experienced criminal and regulatory law solicitor and has represented clients alleged to have committed offences of all types, from shoplifting through to murder. His combination of meticulous preparation, robust cross-examination and effective use of character references has resulted in an enviable track record of securing an impressive acquittal rate.
Olliers advise in all areas of dog related legislation including dangerous dogs.