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Dog Owners Urged To Get Their Animals Microchipped

5th January 2016

Dog owners across Scotland are being urged to get their animal microchipped.

From April, it will be compulsory for all dogs in Scotland to have a chip with their owners details registered and kept up to date in a database complying with certain conditions.

The forthcoming change in the law was highlighted by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead -the Scottish Government Minister with lead responsibility for animal welfare - on a visit to the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in West Calder.

Mr Lochhead said - Now is the time many of us make New Years resolutions - and I urge all dog owners to make it a priority to get their dog microchipped before the law changes and it becomes mandatory in April.

Compulsory microchipping will help reduce the number of lost and abandoned dogs in Scotland - safeguarding animal welfare and promoting responsible ownership. As well as reuniting pets with their owners, it will allow authorities to directly identify dog owners and hold them accountable for their dogs' behaviour and welfare.

Dogs Trust is offering free microchipping at its two rehoming centres in Scotland, as well as at selected veterinary practices until the middle of January, and until March at mobile drop-in events.

My New Year message to all dog owners is to make 2016 the year of your dog and make the most of the free microchipping offers while they are available.

Susan Tonner, Dogs Trust West Calder Rehoming Centre Manager said: We were delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to West Calder to meet Stephanie, a 6 month old Shih Tzu puppy, who has been looking for a new home and will happily be joining her new family very soon. Sadly, Stephanie was not microchipped when she was found straying by the local authorities, so they were unable to find her owners.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, with our West Calder centre having rehomed 11,000 dogs since it opened its doors in 1994. Reducing Scotland’s stray dog population of over 1,400 dogs is at the very heart of our ethos, which is why we have committed to ensuring dog owners have access to free microchipping at our two Scottish rehoming centres in Glasgow and West Calder, or at one of our many drop-in events across the country.

We are pleased that from April microchipping will be compulsory in Scotland, but we continue to remind owners that no matter how responsible they are, there is a chance their dog could get lost like Stephanie. Microchipping is the most effective way to assist in a lost dog being returned to their owner, however, to enable this it is important that owners keep their database details up to date.

The Scottish Governments intention to make microchipping dogs compulsory was announced in March 2015: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Chip-in-16dd.aspx

The regulations were laid before the Scottish Parliament on December 2, 2015: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Mandatory-dog-microchips-1ff9.aspx

Details of the Dogs Trust free microchipping offer can be found at www.chipmydog.org.uk

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