The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 come into force on 6th April 2016.
If you are a dog owner, you must ensure your dog is microchipped and that a series of pieces of information about you and your dog are stored on an authorised database before the new law comes into force. You are also obliged to keep the information stored on the database up to date.
Owners and dog breeders will also be responsible for ensuring their dogs are microchipped and that changes in the details stored on the database are registered before selling or giving the dog away to new owners.
Save for dogs certified as working dogs, all dogs over the age of eight weeks will need to be fitted with microchips from April 2016. To be exempt from the law a vet must certify in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped.
Owners who ignore the new law by not getting their dog microchipped may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped, should the dog come to the attention of the authorities. Owners may face criminal prosecution and a fine of up to £500 if they do not comply with the notice or transfer a dog without a microchip. There are also powers for unchipped dogs to be seized and chipped without the consent of their owners.
Many vets, charities and organisations are currently offering dog microchipping free to help dog owners comply with the new regulations.