MPs back Compulsory Microchipping of Dogs

(BVA Release) Members of Parliament have recognised the British Veterinary Association’s contribution to the promotion of microchipping dogs and the campaign for compulsory microchipping through an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled by Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative, Romford).

The EDM is gaining signatures from across all political parties as MPs show their support for a compulsory microchipping scheme that would have a significant and positive welfare impact on dogs by:

* assisting in the return of stray and stolen dogs to their owners;
* improving traceability of puppy-farmed dogs; and
* providing a lifetime of security for a one-off payment.

The EDM is also supported by Dogs Trust (who coordinated the EDM), Cats Protection, Blue Cross, and NOAH (National Office for Animal Health).

Earlier this week Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones AM announced proposals for the compulsory microchipping of all dogs and puppies sold or homed by licensed breeders, to improve traceability.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said:

“Microchipping is part of responsible pet ownership and the BVA believes that all dogs should be permanently identified by microchip before the first change of ownership or at the first veterinary examination.

“Compulsory microchipping allows stray dogs to be reunited with their owners and would help the authorities to crack down on shameful puppy farms, where the health and welfare of both puppies and bitches is compromised, by improving the traceability of the animals.

“It could also assist with the reporting of hereditary health problems and surgical procedures to help us gain as much knowledge and research as we can to improve the health of all dogs.

“I would urge all Members of Parliament to show their support for dogs and their owners by signing this EDM.”

The full text of EDM 357: COMPULSORY MICROCHIPPING OF DOGS

Rosindell, Andrew

That this House recognises that the introduction of a compulsory microchipping scheme for dogs would have a significant and positive welfare impact, including the return of stray and stolen dogs to their owners and the improved traceability of puppy-farmed dogs; congratulates Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, Blue Cross, National Office of Animal Health and the British Veterinary Association on their efforts to raise public awareness of microchipping and their campaigning for a mandatory scheme; acknowledges that microchipping provides a lifetime of security for a one-off payment; agrees that a compulsory microchipping scheme is currently the preferred alternative to a dog licensing scheme, which would potentially create unnecessary bureaucracy and expense for local authorities; and believes that this would not represent a barrier to dog ownership for vulnerable groups.

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1. For more information, please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

2. Visit the Parliament website for up-to-date information on the MPs who have signed the EDM

3. The BVA policy position on the compulsory microchipping of dogs:

In February 2009, the BVA called for the compulsory identification of all registered pedigree dogs to facilitate the reporting of hereditary health problems and surgical procedures resulting in conformation changes, and added that the introduction of a ‘pet passport’ database, which would be linked to a microchip, would allow information such as parentage, DNA and health test results to be known for a particular animal.

Permanent identification, particularly by microchip, has become increasingly common over the past decade, and is the most effective means of reuniting a stray dog with its owner.  It has a number of advantages over the use of a collar and tag which are often left off or slip off.  Collars can also be easily removed from stolen dogs.  Permanent identification is effective at all times and is virtually impossible to alter or remove.

The veterinary profession promotes responsible pet ownership and can explain to owners the benefits of permanent identification for dogs. However the BVA considers that legislation should be put in place to require all dogs to be permanently identified before the first change of ownership or at first veterinary examination if earlier. Such identification should be through microchipping.

The new legislation should include a requirement to keep the information on a microchip and/or relevant database up to date with the current name and address of the owner.  Owners should be issued with a certificate to show the details registered on the database. The format of the certificate should include a tear-off section to notify changes of ownership to the database.

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  1. This is just wonderful news! Bring it on! Shame SOFA doesn’t get a mention though… as we started the campaign back in 2008…

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