Microchipping has multiple welfare benefits

A dog being microchipped Credit: ITN

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

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All dogs to be microchipped

The Government has announced plans for compulsory microchipping of dogs, with owners being given three years to comply.