Dog owners should ignore the new microchipping law, says senior vet

'Most of the serious adverse reactions (including death) have been in puppies and small breeds'

Peter Yeung
Saturday 02 April 2016 10:05
Comments
More than a million dogs in the UK are not yet microchipped
More than a million dogs in the UK are not yet microchipped

Dog owners should ignore new microchipping laws because the procedure can kill puppies, according to a veterinary specialist.

Richard Allport, a senior vet and owner of the Natural Medicine Centre in Hertfordshire, said the chip can lead to significant health problems among young dogs and naturally small breeds.

“I think the age by which puppies must be microchipped – eight weeks – is far too young,” wrote Mr Allport in the April issue of niche magazine Dogs Today.

“Most of the serious adverse reactions (including death) have been in puppies and small breeds.

“My advice to people who don’t want their dogs microchipped is to sit tight and do nothing.”

From 6 April all dogs over the age of eight weeks are required to have microchips, which will hold the name and address of the pet’s owner, with fines of up to £500 for flouters. The microchipping procedure involves implanting a sterile chip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, between a dog’s shoulder blades.

Of the country’s 8.5 million dogs, more than a million are not yet registered and up to three million have incorrect details due to owners failing to update their details after moving house.

A Veterinary Medicines Directorate review in 2014 found eight cases in which a dog reacted badly to a microchip.

Mr Allport added: “If the police or council jobsworths come knocking at your door, you have 21 days to get the chipping done if necessary, but if your dog is a senior citizen or is in poor health, ask your vet for an exemption certificate.”

Lost and stray dogs cost the taxpayer and charities £33 million a year, with 110,000 stray dogs picked up off the streets last year alone. The new law, announced by the Government in 2013, means microchips can be used to trace owners from their abused pets and be held criminally liable.

The change in the law is supported by the Dogs Trust and other animal welfare charities as a way of making owners more responsible as well as helping to reunite more stray dogs with their owners.

Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of Dogs Trust, told The Independent in 2013: “Reducing the UK’s stray dog population is at the very heart of what we do which is why we have committed a considerable amount of money to ensure no dog owners will lack the financial ability to microchip their dog. Currently, microchipping involves a minimal one-off cost, but the benefits last a lifetime.

“The reality is that no matter how responsible an owner you are there is a chance your dog could get lost or stolen - microchipping is the most effective way to assist in a lost dog being returned to their owner. Whether it's an abandoned stray or much loved family pet, there is no such thing as hierarchy in dog pounds.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in