- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
The decision follows a public consultation in 2012 in which the Welsh Government sought views on its plans to introduce compulsory microchipping for all dogs. The overwhelming majority of respondents were in favour of the move. Compulsory microchipping could:
• Improve animal welfare by making it easier to return a stray dog to its owners;
• Develop responsible dog ownership by ensuring greater traceability of owners;
• Help to establish liability and prove ownership;
• Assist in control measures in case of diseases that can be passed from dogs to humans;
• Deter dog theft.
In 2010/11 over 126,000 stray dogs were collected by UK Local Authorities and over half (52%) could not be returned to their owners because they were unidentifiable. Of the estimated 450,000 dogs on Wales, it is estimated that some 58% are already microchipped. This means that there are approximately 190,000 dogs that would need to be microchipped prior to March 2015.
The Welsh Government estimates that it is possible to have all dogs microchipped within a year of Regulations coming into effect. The Minister will therefore introduce Regulations in due course in order to allow dog owners 12 months in which to get their dog micro-chipped. In England, compulsory microchipping will not come into force until April 2016.
The Minister welcomed the support of Dogs Trust who have said they said will seek to offer free microchippoing to the majority of dog owners in Wales prior to the Regulations coming into force.