All dogs in England will have to be micro-chipped from 2016.
The new rules will help missing dogs be reunited with their owners, but will it help crack down on dog owners who are irresponsible?
Ronke Phillips reports.
110,000 dogs get lost, dumped or go astray in the UK each year. The government hope compulsory microchipping will make a difference.
In the UK the microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. The process is carried out by a suitably trained person. It is not carried out under anesthetic. Once implanted correctly the microchip is unlikely to fail and so provides lifelong permanent identification.
Microchipping just feels like a small pinch or mild sting – akin to a minor injection - and the dog does not feel the chip at all after it has been inserted.
Currently, it costs between £20-£30 to have your dog microchipped at the vet.
For more information visit The Dog's Trust.
Along with compulsory microchipping, the Government has announced plans to extend legal protection over dog attacks to cover incidents on private property.
This will be a relief for many postmen and women, health visitors and others who call at private addresses but have not been covered by the law if they are bitten by a dog.
Microchipping was introduced in 1989 and is the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner's details are placed on a database.
Microchipping also has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
-All puppies being traceable to their breeder
-Deterrent to dog theft
-Allows for rapid return
-Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty
-Enables vets to quickly contact dog owners for emergency procedures