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Got your dog chipped? The rules have changed

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  April 11, 2016 |

As of 6th April, the law has changed and it is now compulsory to have your dog chipped. I don’t think it is for Leeds GATE to speculate as to how likely these new rules will be enforced or even whether we think this is a good or a bad law. What we can do is give you the facts about what the new law says.

So what are the facts?

All dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are now legally required to have been chipped by the time they are eight weeks old

Currently more than a million dogs in the UK (out of about 8 million) are estimated to not have chips

If a dog is lost or gets stolen and is picked up by a council or a dog shelter, the microchip can be scanned and matched to contact details stored on a database

If local authorities come across a dog without a microchip, owners will have up to 21 days to comply with the law or be fined

How the law will be unforced will vary from Council to Council and there is no set guidance but the new law does allow for fines to be issued for up to 500 pounds


Okay, what is chipping and how do I get this done?

When a dog is microchipped, a tiny chip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the loose skin on the back of its neck, giving it a unique 15-digit code

You need to register your details with the microchip number – so whenever the microchip is scanned the owner can easily be traced

Microchips can be scanned at most vets. If you are getting a rescue dog or older animal from someone it is always worth checking if they already have a chip or not

Most vets believe that the procedure is quick, safe and no more painful that any medicinal injection though it is fair to note that some vets suggest that the chips can cause medical complications

Many Councils offer free chipping, Leeds included, at one off events around the city. The Dog’s Trust also offer free chipping at their centre in North East Leeds and a number of pet shops offer this for fees of around 10-20 pounds


As noted, Leeds GATE are not experts on this subject, nor do we comment on the merits of this law. We can however answer questions about these rules and if you did want to get your dog chipped we can help advice on how best to go about this in your area. If in doubt please just ask

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