Dogs must be Permanently Identified for Health Schemes

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is reminding all veterinary surgeons that from January 1st 2010 all dogs presented under the BVA/Kennel Club Canine Health Schemes must be permanently identified by microchip or tattoo.

The BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes (CHS) enable owners to screen for known inherited diseases in their dogs and include the hip dysplasia scheme, the elbow dysplasia scheme and the eye scheme.

The hip and elbow schemes both involve veterinary surgeons carrying out radiographs, which are then submitted to the CHS for review by experts.

From January 1st the dog’s microchip or tattoo number must appear on the radiograph alongside the other required information, as detailed in the updated CHS Procedure Notes.

X-rays submitted without the microchip/tattoo number will not be accepted.

Examination under the eye scheme is carried out by members of the BVA Eye Panel and dogs presented for examination must have permanent identification before they can be examined.

For all dogs examined under the eye scheme the microchip or tattoo number will be checked and the number recorded on the certificate before the dog is examined.

This move is intended to make sure the Schemes are as robust as possible by ensuring the individual dog is identifiable and thereby greatly reducing the risk of false certification.


1. The BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes provide dog breeders with the option of testing for certain inherited diseases, to enable them to breed only from dogs which have fewer or no signs of inherited disease and thus help to reduce the incidence of these diseases. For more information click here.

2. The microchip or tattoo must be present at the time of the radiograph and the number must be recorded on the certificate by the veterinary surgeon. Veterinary surgeons asked to carry out a radiograph for submission to the CHS should read the updated Procedure Notes for further information:

Hip Dysplasia Scheme Procedure Notes

Elbow Dysplasia Scheme Procedure Notes

Eye Scheme information

3. Information leaflets for use in practice waiting rooms are available from the CHS office: 020 7908 6380.

4. For more information, please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or

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One reply

  1. This seems like a good idea. I mean, we have this technology and it is extremely cheap. The issue of lost pets is a serious one. And when you think of the costs involved at the pound etc, you can make the case here just on economic grounds. There are certainly emotional reasons as well.

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