You are probably aware that we have long campaigned for the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs across the United Kingdom. We are delighted that the measure has now been introduced in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, but with no plans as yet to legislate, the Scottish Government are in real danger of falling behind the rest of the UK in this important aspect of dog welfare.
Microchipping was first introduced into the UK in 1989 and is internationally recognised as a permanent method of identification and traceability of dogs and their owners. The most important reason for microchipping is to enable a lost or straying dog to be returned promptly to its owner. This in turn reduces the number of healthy dogs unnecessarily put to sleep and saves money for Local Authorities by cutting kennelling costs.
Microchipping is a one-off cost of about £20-£30. Dogs Trust works closely with Local Authorities across the UK to promote the tool as an effective method of permanently identifying dogs. We chipped approximately 100,000 dogs in the run up to the introduction of legislation in Northern Ireland as part of our ‘chip roadshow’, which travelled across the country offering training and advice and providing free chip implantation to dog owners. We have also set aside a substantial amount of money to ensure that dog owners in England and Wales can avail of free chipping within a limited time period. A similar scheme would be offered in Scotland were compulsory microchipping to be implemented.
Dogs Trust intends to continue lobbying the Scottish Government on the issue, but for this we need your help.
What can I do?
Dogs Trust recently commissioned a YouGov survey to gauge Scottish opinion on compulsory microchipping. We are delighted to reveal that an encouraging 82% of all Scottish adults think that microchipping should be made compulsory for all dogs in Scotland, with just 9% saying that it should not, and a further 9% unsure. We believe that this figure really emphasises the high level of support in Scotland for this important aspect of responsible dog ownership. If you are one of this 82%, we would ask you to write to your local MSP asking them to raise the issue of compulsory microchipping with the Scottish Government on your behalf.
We have prepared a template letter which you can modify before sending either as an email or as a letter if you pick the 'Send me a Word file' option - simply click here to proceed to the online form and complete your details.
We would recommend trying to personalise this letter as much as possible, in order to better grab your MSP’s attention. If, for example, your dog has ever been lost or stolen and then been successfully returned to you because of its microchip please insert here or as a responsible dog owner, explain why you believe it is important for your dog to be microchipped. If you receive a reply, please send a copy to us so that we can take further action if required.
If you have any queries about the process or any other matter relating to compulsory microchipping in Scotland, please do not hesitate to get in touch, you can email us at: Feedback@dogstrust.org.uk