The Scottish Government has announced plans to make dog microchipping compulsory by April 2016.
While the decision has been made in light of a spate of recent incidents involving dangerous dogs, it is likely to benefit Scottish people with gentle, non-violent canine friends as well.
This is because microchipping is one of the most reliable methods of reuniting pooches with their owners if they get lost or are stolen. Because of this, Dogs Trust plans to offer free microchipping to any owners who want it between now and next April.
Dog owners can take advantage of the offer at either at their two re-homing centres in Glasgow and West Calder, or at a one of the many drop-in sessions that will be held across Scotland before the law comes into force.
At present, around two-thirds of Scottish dogs have already been voluntarily microchipped by their owners, and making it compulsory was supported by 83 per cent of respondents in a public consultation last year.
The rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland is a nation of animal lovers, and so we must do all we can to safeguard dog welfare and promote responsible ownership.”
He added: “I very much welcome the generous free microchipping offer made by Dogs Trust ahead of the new legislation coming into effect. I would encourage all dog owners to ensure that their dogs are microchipped and that their details are up to date."
He also claimed that a staggering 10,000 Scottish pooches were returned to their owners in 2014 thanks to the technology.
Elvira Meucci, Campaigns Director at Dogs Trust, said the charity welcomed the government’s decision and emphasised that microchips were only effective if the owner’s name and address are kept up to date.Meucci, Campaigns Director at Dogs Trust, said the charity welcomed the government’s decision and emphasised that microchips were only effective if the owner’s name and address are kept up to date.
She also said that Dogs Trust were offering the programme of free microchipping because one of its central aims was to reduce the country’s stray dog population, and did not want any loving pet owners to be excluded due to lack of money.
Written by: Hannah Dyball