The Pets’n’Vets family, a network of veterinary practices with surgeries around Glasgow and surrounding areas, has welcomed theplanned change in the law by the Scottish government requiring that all dogs in Scotland will need to be micro chipped from April next year.
The government said that the move would help reduce the number of lost and abandoned dogs in Scotland. Rural Affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said that some two-thirds of dogs in Scotland had already been micro chipped voluntarily and that, last year, over 10,000 dogs in the UK were reunited with their owners as a result of a microchip.
Oliver Jackson, a partner in The Pets‘n’Vets Family, said: “Permanent identification of dogs through micro chipping has many benefits. It can help reunite strays with their owners, help tackle puppy farming and encourage responsible ownership. In pedigree dogs it facilitates the reporting of hereditary health problems.
“Micro chipping is quick, painless, reliable and inexpensive and, as such, compulsory micro chipping is to be welcomed. However, given the growth in the sale of puppies and dogs online, the issue of enforcement should be addressed ahead of the introduction of the new legislation.
“As we saw recently in the case of Kai, the Shar Pei who made worldwide headlines after he was found abandoned with only a suitcase of his favourite toys outside Ayr railway station, microchips are not typically updated with new ownership details.
“The new law also raises the question of why compulsory micro chipping should be restricted only to dogs? Just last month we were able to reunite Bubbles, a beloved domestic short-hair cat who had disappeared without trace from her home in Ayr some eight months previously, leaving the Ferguson family heartbroken and resigned to its loss.
“When Bubbles eventually resurfaced in Shawlands – some 35 miles from her family home – the fact that she was micro chipped enabled us to reunite her with her delighted family. That tale would have had a very different ending had Bubbles not been micro chipped.
“As a practice, therefore, whilst welcoming the compulsory micro chipping of dogs, we would propose that the change in the law include cats and, for that matter, rabbits too, and emphasise that, if it is to be effective, the new legislation will require to be enforced rigorously.”