Michael O Connor talks about the new microchipping regulations for dogs

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    Michael O Connor's picture

    In our practice at the moment there is a huge increase in the number of queries about the new regulations that are now in place in relation to dog microchipping.

    Earlier this year Minister Simon Coveney announced the new legal requirements in relation to dog microchipping. Under the regulations owners must ensure that:

    • All pups born from 1st of June 2015 onwards be microchipped by the age of 12 weeks
    • From March 2016 onwards, all dogs in the country must be microchipped

    Announcing the scheme Minister Coveney said microchipping of all dogs would have positive benefits in protecting the welfare of all dogs and helping to speedily unite stray dogs with their owners

    The benefits of having your pet microchipped have been well established and currently nearly one in every three dogs in Ireland has had a chip implanted under their skin.The microchip contains information that can be accessed at any time by authorised persons such as dog wardens, veterinarians or animal welfare center professionals.

    When a dog is found and the owner is not easily identified, a person can bring the animal to a veterinary practice, warden or animal welfare center. There, it can be scanned easily and, if the owner’s contact details are up-to-date, returned to its owner.

    We commonly have stray dogs brought into the practice that are microchipped but the microchip and the owner details have not been correctly registered with the database and so making the microchip pointless.

    In my opinion there has been some confusion in the public domain in relation to the new legal requirements and even more so with the dog owners who previously had they’re animal microchipped. These owner need to fill in a new form in order to acquire the new certificate which by law every owner needs for proof of ownership.

    A dog owner is required to bring proof of identity with them when getting they’re dog microchipped. The dog is registered at this time by the registered implanter and copy of the registration form is given to the owner. A new certificate will be send to them in the post from the registered database. If/when the owner wants to sell or re-home his/her dog, it is the responsibility of the vendor to complete the “change of ownership” section of the certificate of microchip registration and, equally, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to acquire a new certificate of microchip registration.

    My advice to dog owners is simple, if you already have your dog microchipped please check that your dog and your contact details are correctly registered with the recognised database.

    For dog owners who have not had their animal microchipped, the advice is easier again, please get it done.

    Michael O Connor, O Connor Julian Cashel Vets, Cashel, Co Tipperary