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ChipMeNot.org.uk - NEWS


New Article - Micro chipping away at our freedoms - December 2015

A new article has been published by Sovereign Wales (sponsors of a petition to the Welsh Assembly against compulsory dog chipping).

"Essentially this has to do with freedom and the right of people to not accept draconian and overly meddling laws by our supposed public servants. And it sadly shows how out of touch with reality our politicians have become if they believe that enforcing dog owners to blindly obey an order from ‘the state’ to insert an electromagnetic chip into a live animal constitutes “responsible ownership”."

Click to read the article




Proof that claims that dog chips lead to more owners being reunited are false - December 2014

In February the 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust in Northern Ireland wrote to Dog World magazine to expose the lie that chipping dogs allows lost dogs to be quickly re-united with their owners.

Compulsory chipping of dogs was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2012, so they now have figures that show it simply does not work. Under a freedom of Information Request, 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust received the statistics from the local council pounds in Northern Ireland for the last 4 years - two years preceding the introduction of compulsory microchipping in April 2012 and the two years after the act was introduced. These figures are below:

Year Dogs Taken InDogs Returned to Owners% figure of dogs returned
2010/116766225233.28%
2011/126708210231.34%
(Introduction of compulsory microchipping, April 2012)
2012/136242197031.56%
2013/14*5895200233.96%
Total number of dogs reunited to owners prior to legislation - 32.31%
Total number of dogs reunited to owners after legislation - 32.63%
*Statistics for the 2013/14 year where extrapolated from the 6 month period April 2013 to September 2014 as the request was made in October 2013

In their letter 7th Heaven point out that:

The most glaringly obvious statistic, and the one that proves the fallacy of compulsory microchipping, is the percentage of dogs re-united with their owners. They are virtually identical for the period before and after compulsory microchipping was introduced. You must also take into account the fact that it is also law in N.Ireland to have dogs displaying a tag with name and phone number so a lot of the dogs re-united with their owners would have been returned even if they weren't microchipped.
 
It is obvious that microchipping dogs, with all the inherent health dangers, makes no difference whatsoever to the percentage of dogs reunited with their owners. There are absolutely no benefits at all.

The full letter can be read on Lee Connor's blog at:
http://leeconnorblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/fact-compulsory-microchipping-doesnt-work/




Proposed dog chipping regulations published in Wales and England - December 2014

Why should "charities" like the Dogs Trust tell dog owners to obey laws when they themselves are breaching Charity Law!

Both the English and Welsh parliaments have published draft versions of compulsory dog chipping regulations (see [1] and [2]). The Welsh regulation has been withdrawn because of drafting errors and in September the Welsh Deputy Minister for Farming and Food said: "Due to this ongoing work, the previously stated date of 1 March 2015, by which all dogs in Wales should be microchipped, is unlikely to be achieved"[3].

The English regulation requires dogs in England to be microchipped from April 2016 and it is likely the Welsh parliament will want to chip dogs by or around then too.

In a disgusting twist of language, both of the regulations are to be introduced under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Both regulations claim that blindly obeying an order from the state to insert an electromagnetic chip into a live dog constitutes "responsible ownership". Blind obedience and responsibility are poles apart - but this is just the sort of language used to introduce laws that are illiberal, and in this case cruel.

The draft explanatory note to the English regulation claims that: "Traceability allows lost dogs to be quickly re-united with their owners and avoids dogs having to spend unnecessary time in kennels with possible attendant welfare problems or having to be re-homed." This has nothing to do with chipping dogs. As we have pointed out repeatedly on this website there is already a law requiring all dogs to wear a collar and tag (Control of Dogs Order 1992). This low tech solution has been used for decades and a tag can be read by anyone without the need for a chip reader and access to databases. What is more the number of chipped dogs in dog rescues shows that chipping dogs is no guarantee of reuniting a dog with its owner.

Welsh Deputy Minister for Farming and Food thanked what she called "third sector stakeholders for their support", particularly mentioning the Dogs Trust. Groups like the Dogs Trust who have lobbied for the introduction of compulsory dog chipping are meant to be charities and are supposed to be bound by charity law that forbids lobbying. Why should dog owners obey state regulations if the Dogs Trust do not.

Both the English and Welsh parliaments are relying on dog owners not being informed of the risks of chipping, having no moral issue with inserting a microchip into a living animal and either obeying a letter from their vet or blindly following the regulations. We must hope that enough owners do the right thing and truly act as a responsible owners by not chipping their dogs.

There is an epetition against dog chipping in Wales at:
http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=9752

References:




Letter exposes dangers of proposed compulsory dog chipping in England - March 2013

The excellent letter below was sent to Dog World Magazine by a concerned owner and published in their 22nd February edition. This is a great way to get these concerns out to other dog owners who may not have thought about this issue.

DANGERS OF MICROCHIPPING
 
I am surprised at the widespread blanket acceptance of the recent compulsory microchipping announcement. It seems everyone from the Kennel Club to the Blue Cross and obviously the Veterinary Association welcomes the proposals with open arms. I found it strange that such a monumental move didn't bring about any dissenting voices. Maybe, I thought, this was one of those rare cases where everyone was 'singing from the same hymn sheet' but, with a bit of research, I discovered this wasn't the case.
 
A quick trawl through the internet showed that a growing number of pet owners - genuine, loving pet owners - were expressing serious misgivings about microchipping their pets and it seemed with good reason.
 
Microchip implants are marketed as a safe and permanent form of identification and are being 'pushed' worldwide. In fact, one pharmaceutical giant boasts that scientific studies prove that microchip implants are "totally painless and perfectly tolerated by the animal". It also goes on to state "microchips are never rejected by the body".
 
However, other scientific tests recorded by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) seemed to disagree with these findings. Tests on mice and rats showed some animals (ranging from 1% to 10%) developed "aggressive and lethal microchip-induced cancerous growths".
 
Now, one could say that rats and mice are physiologically different from dogs and I suppose that is indeed true, but, there have also been several cases of dogs (and cats) developing cancers and tumours at the site of implant. The manufacturers state that such a risk is "negligible" but, what if the dog that developed such conditions was yours?
 
Given that there are around two million dogs needing microchips in England, even taking the lower range of just 1% (from some tests) of microchipped dogs developing tumours/cancer could mean at least 20,000 dogs will be afflicted. How strange then that EFRA just last week called for further sanctions against dog breeders who they said are causing dogs to be bred with ill health yet they remain strangely silent on the potential problems caused by microchipping? Is government-sanctioned ill health and disease acceptable?
 
Another point which is often denied or dismissed is the movement of these chips. Some say "it is impossible" but chips have been found to migrate. In some cases, they have been found at the base of dogs' tails and in their rear legs!
 
I personally do not like the thought of a foreign object being inserted into my dogs and I'm also confused by the rhetoric of microchipping being the panacea to all of dogdom's ills. Sadly there is an element in our society that will never toe the line. These people won't comply to having their dogs chipped and it will not make the slightest bit of difference to those postal and health workers getting attacked and it certainly won't change the conditions these neglected animals are kept in. Most of the strays found wandering the streets aren't beloved lost pets; they have been dumped intentionally and, now, when this law is brought in, I predict that abuse and neglect cases will indeed soar. If an animal isn't chipped, will its owner seek veterinary assistance when it falls ill or will he fear prosecution? Those animals that are now dumped will probably be killed and discarded to avoid detection.
 
I can't see microchipping changing any of these problems. In fact, I can see it opening up a vile can of worms. Once again, it will be the majority of law-abiding, true dog lovers who will obediently file to their vets to have their precious charges chipped.
 
However, before you do so, please do your research - arm yourself with knowledge and ask questions. Assurances from vets do not fill me with confidence considering they are still giving out mixed messages over annual vaccinations! If your dog does have a bad reaction to the microchipping process or if the chip moves, let others know about it. One good thing about the modern age is the speed at which we can share information and experiences.
 
And, to those who say, "well, at least it's being offered for free", I'd reply with, "nothing is free in this world". Big brother is indeed watching all of us and, once everyone's details are stored on file, wouldn't that be a rather good precursor to bringing back the Dog Licence?
 
Lee Connor, Dorset
 

The EFRA (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee) report mentioned above can be found via the following links:

'Dog Control and Welfare' report, 15th February
Web version: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvfru/575/57502.htm
PDF: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvfru/575/575.pdf
'Dog Control and Welfare' - Volume II (Additional Evidence), 15th February 2013
Web version: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvfru/575/575vw01.htm
PDF: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvfru/575/575vw.pdf
 
On compulsory chipping of dogs, the report states: "it will do little to prevent irresponsible dog owners from allowing or encouraging their dogs to be aggressive and rigorous enforcement will be needed to ensure that all owners comply."





Westminster announces ludicrous Compulsory Dog Chipping regulation - Feb 2013

Write to your MP, vet, animal charites, newspapers and more...

The Westminster government has announced the introduction of compulsory chipping of dogs in England from April 2016. Little has changed in their thinking since the 2012 announcement of similar proposals but the reason they claim chipping is needed has. In 2012 it was claimed to tackle dangerous dogs, now apparently it will solve the problem of stray dogs and reunite dogs with their owners - very much the same heart rending rhetoric used by chipping and dog database companies.

This regulation will not kick in until 2016, so there are three years for people to get informed and challenge this ludicrous policy. Contact your MP, your vet and the many animal charities that are pushing this agenda. Ask them why they ignore the risks of chipping, why they think blindly following a regulation makes a dog owner "responsible" and what's wrong with a collar and tag. The ChipMeNot Dog Manifesto lays out the main issues relating to compulsory chipping (see links on right hand navigation).

ChipMeNot UK issued the following press release in response to the Westminster government's latest announcement of compulsory dog chipping in England:

ANTI DOG CHIP CAMPAIGN GROUP SLAMS GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS

Chip Me Not UK - the campaign against compulsory microchipping today slammed the Westminster Government's proposal to compulsorily chip all dogs in England from 2016 [1].

Charlie Williams of ChipMeNot said:

"Introducing compulsory chipping of dogs will not solve the problem of stray dogs. There is already a law in place (the Control of Dogs Order 1992 [2]) that requires all dogs to wear a collar and tag containing contact details of the owner. Non-compliance with this law already carries a fine of up to £5,000. Anyone that can read can read a tag - microchips require an expensive reader. Collar tags do not fail, migrate around the body or cause medical complications, whereas chips do. Responsible ownership cannot be legislated into existence. Compulsory chipping would simply be a burden on law abiding owners. If so-called "irresponsible owners" are not complying with the current regulation it is naive to think they will comply with any new regulation and enforcement would be costly and ineffective."

ChipMeNot have concerns about the health risks of chipping and point out that compulsory chipping would grant those that chip dogs immunity from prosecution under section 4(3)(b) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 [3].

ChipMeNot believe that rather than waste money on impossible to maintain private databases of owners, money should be used on education and directly targeting irresponsible owners.

ChipMeNot UK have laid out their concerns in a Dog Manifesto that can be downloaded at : http://www.chipmenot.org.uk/documents/DOGmanifesto.pdf

As Barbara Haywood writes on the Dog Politics website:

"If microchips conjure images of tearful and happy reunions - then you are the willing victim of a very successful marketing campaign - one that plays on your fears."

-- ENDS --

References:





Westminster announces ludicrous Compulsory Dog Chipping proposals - April 2012

Write to your MP and take part in the "consultation"...

ChipMeNot UK issued the following press release in response to the Westminster government's announcement of compulsory dog chipping proposals and the launch of a DEFRA consultation into the proposals:

ANTI DOG CHIP CAMPAIGN GROUP SLAMS GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS

Chip Me Not UK - the campaign against compulsory microchipping today slammed the Westminster Government's proposal to compulsorily chip all puppies [1].

Charlie Williams of ChipMeNot said:

"Introducing compulsory chipping of dogs will not address any issues relating to dangerous dogs. There is already a law in place (the Control of Dogs Order 1992 [2]) that requires all dogs to wear a collar and tag containing contact details of the owner. Non-compliance with this law already carries a fine of up to £5,000. Anyone that can read can read a tag - microchips require an expensive reader. Collar tags do not fail, migrate around the body or cause medical complications, whereas chips do. Responsible ownership cannot be legislated into existence. Compulsory chipping would simply be a burden on law abiding owners. Dogs bred by the people that such measures supposedly aim to target would not be chipped and enforcement of the law would be costly and ineffective."

ChipMeNot have concerns about the health risks of chipping and point out that compulsory chipping would grant those that chip dogs immunity from prosecution under section 4(3)(b) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 [3].

ChipMeNot believe that rather than waste money on impossible to maintain private databases of owners, money should be used on education and directly targeting irresponsible owners.

ChipMeNot UK have laid out their concerns in a Dog Manifesto that can be downloaded at : http://www.chipmenot.org.uk/documents/DOGmanifesto.pdf

As Barbara Haywood writes on the Dog Politics website:

"If microchips conjure images of tearful and happy reunions - then you are the willing victim of a very successful marketing campaign - one that plays on your fears."

-- ENDS --

References:

* The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a "consultation" entitled 'Tackling irresponsible dog ownership', which seeks views on their compulsory chipping plans. The consultation closes on 15th June 2012. Details of the consultation and where to send responses is on the DEFRA website:





More Dog Chipping Misinformation in Westminster Parliament - February 2012

Responsibly write to your MP...

This week the issue of compulsory dog chipping was raised in the House of Lords (see a transcript here), when Lord Hoyle asked whether the government will introduce the compulsory microchipping of dogs. The minister's reply was:

[..] we are close to finalising a package of measures to tackle irresponsible dog owners, and intend to make an announcement soon. In putting the package together, we have considered and set out the pros and cons of various approaches towards compulsorily microchipping dogs. The final package will cover future government handling of the issue, as well as plans to improve standards of dog ownership.

In the very short debate that followed a number of Lords claimed that inserting a micro-chip into a dog would magically create responsible dog owners, solve the issue of stray dogs and even reduce the national debt (according to Lord Taylor "The economic cost to this country of irresponsible dog ownership is enormous")!.

What utter nonsense! There are many reasons why compulsory dog chipping is a bad idea and no evidence that sticking a chip in a live animal will make anyone responsible. A responsible owner will weigh up the pros and cons of chipping for themselves and make their own well informed decision about what is right. Once again politicians seem to think that they can legislate "good behaviour" - despite the fact that that little project hasn't been working so well over the last few hundred years.

We urge responsible people, whether dog owners or not, to responsibly write to their MP to express concerns about compulsory micro-chipping - there is a handy link on our Take Action page.

Some equally riduclous press coverage at:





Shameless political lobbying for compulsory chipping by Dogs Trust - August 2011

Take Action Now to Counter lies

So-called "charity" the Dogs Trust has launched a 'Support Compulsory Microchipping' campaign and is calling on its supporters to lobby parliamentarians to introduce a compulsory dog chipping law throughout the UK. UK Charity law forbids charities from political activity unless it is directly linked to their registered charitable purpose. The Dogs Trust website (and its Facebook page) states:

If you have five minutes we would ask you to write to the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for DEFRA and if you can spare ten minutes, also write to Lord Henley, Minister for Animal Welfare

This website, our US sister site ChipMeNot USA, the Noble Leon website and the Microchip Implants website all explain why microchipping dogs is such a bad idea. The simplest way of identifying a dog or reuniting him with his owner is the use of a safe collar with a tag that has contact details. Anyone that can read is able to read the tag, and no special equipment is required. In addition their is growing evidence that as well as being a painful procedure chipping animals can cause adverse reactions such as cancer, spinal cord injuries and microchip implant migration. A recent article from the Noble Leon website (see here) explains how pet owners are being misled regarding the safety and reliability of microchip implants.

The Dogs Trust is a registered charity (see here). Their stated charitable objects are: "TO PROTECT DOGS FROM MALTREATMENT, CRUELTY AND SUFFERING."

The lobbying actions of the Dogs Trust are surely a breach of UK charity law. Is it right that people give money to the Dogs Trust to help them rehome dogs but the money is used to create a political lobbying campaign for an action that (a) may well cause but certainly does not protect dogs from maltreatment, cruelty and suffering, and (b) supports the multi-million pound chipping industry (see Microchip Implants for some of the connections between so-called animal charities and the chipping industry).

Chip Me Not UK urges all truly responsible and caring dog owners to take action to counter the Dogs Trust lobbying efforts:

  • write to the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for DEFRA (or email via caroline@carolinespelman.com) explaining that your are not in favour of compulsory microchipping of dogs and urging her not to introduce such a law (contact details for Defra can be found here
  • write to Lord Henley, Minister for Animal Welfare (also at DEFRA) (or email via PS.Lord.Henley@defra.gsi.gov.uk) laying out why compulsory microchipping is a bad idea
  • write to the Dogs Trust asking them to think again about compulsory microchipping of dogs and pointing out that they should not be conducting political activities (contact details can be found here
  • write to the Charities Commission to complain about the political lobbying that the Dogs Trust is undertaking (contact details can be found here here

A number of sample letters can be found on the Noble Leon website at:
http://www.noble-leon.com/letters/sampleLetters-microchips.html





ChipMeNot UK announces launch of "No chipping Month" - June 2011

Chip Me Not UK has declared June 2011 as the UK's first official NO CHIPPING MONTH.

The group, concerned about the introduction of compulsory dog chipping legislation around the world with Northern Ireland the most recent to introduce such an ill conceived law, is calling on UK pet owners to consider alternatives to the implantation of electromagnetic microchips in the living flesh of their dogs.

June is dubbed National Microchipping Month by the pro-chipping lobby who stand to make substantial financial profits by exploiting the desire of uninformed animal lovers to do “the right thing”.

As Barbara Haywood writes on the Dog Politics website:

If microchips conjure images of tearful and happy reunions - then you are the willing victim of a very successful marketing campaign - one that plays on your fears.”

To mark NO CHIPPING MONTH Chip Me Not UK has published a new article 'Are Pet Owners Being Misled Regarding the Safety and Reliability of Microchip Implants?' by Jeanne, the author of the Noble Leon website [1]. French Bulldog, Leon died from chip induced cancer in 2004.

Endnotes:





UK media rumours of possible DEFRA dog chip plan - April 2011

The Daily Mail has published an article claiming that they have obtained a confidential Whitehall document with proposals for compulsory micro-chipping of new dogs in England and Wales. According to the Mail, the document which is said to have been drawn up by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) says that "the chips would initially be imprinted with the details of the dog breeder and would be `updated by other persons transferring ownership of their pet with the contact details of the new owner when ownership is transferred'".

There are two bill before the Westminster Parliament that such a proposal could be added to:

In the House of Lords the 'Dog Control Bill [HL] 2010-11'
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/dogcontrolhl.html

In the House of Commons a private members bill the 'Dog Control and Welfare Bill 2010-11'
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/dogcontrolandwelfare.html

The bill in the Lords has nearly finished its passage so such a proposal would have to be snuck in at the next stage. The private members bill in the commons is listed for a provisional 2nd reading in June but has not been printed. The procedure for private members bills says: "As with all bills, if it is not printed before its second reading then it cannot make further progress" (see http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/l02.pdf).

No anti-chipping groups were interviewed for the Mail article which relied heavliy on the pro-chipping RSPCA. For more on the issue of chipping dogs see the "What's Wrong?" section of the site.

The Daily Mail article is online at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380039/Every-new-pet-dog-35-microchip-Plan-control-dangerous-animals-putting-million-pets-massive-database.html
A similar story appeared in the Independent newspaper which appears to have been copied from the Mail story:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/puppies-may-have-to-be-chipped-in-battle-against-violent-animals-2274418.html





Northern Ireland introduces Compulsory Dog Chipping Law - February 2011

In February the Northern Ireland Assembly passed The Dogs (Amendment) Act - which introduces compulsory micro-chipping of dogs. There is no option to tattoo as an alternative. Clearly the micro-chip companies and the pro-chipping groups such as the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA did a lot of lobbying to ensure that the alternatives were not even considered.

The new law states:

A district council shall not-
   (a)issue a dog licence in respect of a dog, or
   (b)issue a transfer certificate in respect of a new dog,
unless that dog has been microchipped; and any licence or transfer certificate purporting to be issued in respect of a dog which has not been microchipped is void.

The Act can be read online at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nia/2011/9/contents/enacted





"Stop the Shots NOW" campaign launches - July 2010

A major campaign has been launched by Canine Health Concern and others highlighting the needlessness of annual pet vaccination.

We are told to vaccinate our dogs and cats every year. But is this necessary and is it harmless? The answer to both these questions is no.

After years of writing to the British government and the government's licensing authority (the Veterinary Medicines Directorate), Canine Health Concern and over 100 vets and pet owners are calling for the withdrawal of one-year dog and cat vaccines.

The British Government's Veterinary Medicines Directorate needs to get out of bed with the pharmaceutical industry. A document with all the scientific research to substantiate Canine Health Concern's claim has been sent to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate - this document details the risks associated with vaccinating your pets, and tells you why governments might want you to take those risks. Read it at petvaccine.weebly.com/response-to-the-vmd.html

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT THE "STOP THE SHOTS" CAMPAIGN

UK Residents - Click here to download/print a pre-formatted letter to send to your MP (details of who your MP is also on this link).

Overseas Residents - Click here to download/print a pre-formatted letter to send to/email the UK Chief Veterinary officer. You can also contact the UK Foreign Secretary (also on this link).

Tell your friends - Click here for details on what you can do to help spread the message.





Welsh Assembly announces desire to introduce compulsory dog chipping for breeders

The Welsh Assembly has published the findings of a Task and Finish Group that has been examining "the need to update the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973" [1]. They claim that the report "makes recommendations intended to provide a balanced and reasonable approach to dog breeding in Wales".

The written statement by Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs reveals key recommendations of the Task Group:

they recommended that all dogs in licensed breeding establishment should be microchipped in accordance with approved national standards and that all puppies born there should be microchipped prior to sale or homing. This would provide clear traceability back to the breeder in case of health or welfare concerns.

The Welsh Assembly are able to introduce such measures because animal welfare powers have been devolved to Welsh Ministers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 - the very act that we have pointed out elsewhere [2] will grant those that chip animals immunity from prosecution in the case of compulsory chipping, despite the fact that evidence is emerging that micro-chipping causes unnecessary suffering to animals (which is a breach of the Animal Welfare Act).

Jones's written statement goes on to point out that there will be a consultation on the draft legislation:

I welcome these recommendations and have asked my officials to prepare draft Welsh legislation under Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 based on those recommendations. This section of the Act gives the National Assembly power to repeal the existing primary legislation, namely the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and replace it with Regulations that are fit for purpose. The draft legislation will be fully consulted on.

We urge everyone concerned about the development of implantable microchips to write to the Welsh Assembly when the consultation begins - we will publish more details when we have them.

Interestingly many of the organisations that were members of the Task and Finish Group just happen to be organisations that have been lobbying for compulsory dog chipping in recent years [3]. The Group's findings can be downloaded from the Welsh Assembly website [4].

Endnotes:





Dogs Monthly's excellent coverage of the micro-chipping issues

Dogs Monthly magazine has printed two excellent articles on concerns about the chipping of animals. The articles can be downloaded from the Dogs Monthly website at:

'Implanting doubt' - June Dogs Monthly article
'Chip 'n' Spin?' - July Dogs Monthly article

It's good to see some proper investigation being done by journalists on this issue at last.





Mayor of London publishes DEFRA consultation response

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has published his response to the recent DEFRA Dangerous Dogs consultation.

The mayor makes it clear that he does not support compulsory dog chipping:

The Mayor opposes compulsory microchipping and third party insurance as he believes that changes to the legislation should enable agencies to target the worst offenders and the most aggressive dogs.

However it quickly becomes clear that this is driven by cost rather than principle and that he does support voluntary microchipping:

Compulsory microchipping would involve creating something similar to the DVLA, which would be both expensive and highly resource intensive to monitor and enforce. Compulsory schemes are only effective if they are actively enforced and monitored, which in this case would prove very complicated and would jeopardise the effectiveness of the scheme and the clear message that needs to go out.

However, the Mayor is strongly supportive of voluntary microchipping schemes in targeted areas experiencing the biggest problems. The Mayor has already proposed that local authorities and social landlords should identify opportunities for discounted costs for microchipping and neutering with local animal welfare charities and veterinary centres. They should also co-ordinate and promote events in targeted areas to encourage take up by residents. Many authorities are already offering microchipping events and the Dogs Trust has recently offered free microchipping to local authorities in London. By keeping the cost of microchipping to a minimum, residents are more able and likely to chip their dog. The unit cost of microchipping is greatly reduced when bought in bulk. In due course this should be seen as usual social responsibility for dogs.

Clearly there is a lot more that needs to be done to inform politicians of the problems associated with chipping animals. See our Take Action page for some suggestions of what you can do to help.

Download the Mayor of London's Response (pdf)





DEFRA launches Dangerous Dogs Consultation - (NOW CLOSED)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a 'Consultation on dangerous dogs' [1] and is "seeking views on whether current legislation relating to dangerous dogs adequately protects the public and encourages responsible dog ownership". The closing date for the consultation is 1st June 2010.

The consultation lists "Option 6: A requirement that all dogs, or puppies, are microchipped" on page 21 of the consultation document. The document claims:

Microchipping is recognised as a permanent method of identification that greatly improves the identification and traceability of dogs and their owners. It is generally argued that owner's details are more easily accessible. Likewise, the dog is more easily traceable in the event that it strays.

The Petsitters Alliance in their document 'Breeding Healthy Dogs: A road to hell paved with good intentions' [2] recently described the idea of compulsory dog chipping as "both onerous and unenforceable". According to the Petsitters Alliance there are many difficult questions that need answering, including:

Is it likely that the despicable and cruel (we strongly agree with the characterization) puppy farms will chip their puppies. We think not! Or, worse, they may use false chips.

How is an unchipped puppy/dog discovered? By a vet? Will it be compulsory for vets to report unchipped dogs? Will vets want to "betray" owners who they like?

If you care about this issue please spare a few moments to take part in the consultation. So few people take part in public consultations that it can be easy to change the result of the consultation. See our 'TAKE ACTION' page for more details of how to respond.


Endnotes: