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As of 6th April 2016 all dogs must be microchipped.

All dogs sold or given away must be microchipped by the breeder. (The term breeder refers to any person who owns the female dog that produced the litter of puppies.)

It is the responsibility of the 'keeper' to ensure the details on the microchip database are correct and up to date. The Police and Local Authority may 'take possession' of a dog to scan for a microchip. For any dogs found without a microchip, the 'keeper' may be served with a notice to microchip the dog within 21 days. Failure to comply may result in a fine up to £500.

Please remember: even when your dog is microchipped, when in a public place, it must wear a tag showing the owner's name and address. Failure to comply could lead to an unlimited fine.

You can get your dog fitted with a microchip at your local vets or the Dogs Trust (there may be a small charge for this service).

The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and has a unique number, which corresponds to the information given at the time it was implanted. The microchip cannot fall off or be removed and therefore provides a safe and permanent means of identification.

The process takes less than a minute and the paperwork required to collect the owner's details can be completed in five minutes. The information is then stored on a central database and can only be accessed by authorised organisations.

Owners have the piece of mind that if their pet is ever lost or stolen it can be scanned by a vet, council dog warden, the RSPCA or rescue kennel. The owner can then be quickly identified and reunited with their pet.

Please note: it is the owner's duty to ensure that any changes in contact details are registered with the database agency. Failure to keep these details updated may lead to a £500 fine.