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New law in force which means microchipping for dogs is compulsory


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Kent dog owners could face a hefty fine if their pooch is found to be without a microchip from today.

The new law has come into force in the UK, and will mean a penalty of £500 if dogs are found without a chip.

The legislation has been brought in to tackle irresponsible dog ownership, as almost 120,000 canines are dumped or lost each year.

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Puppies can be microchipped from six weeks old
Puppies can be microchipped from six weeks old

Less than half of those are reunited with their owners and almost 7,000 are put down because no-one can look after them.

It's an owner's responsibility to ensure their dog has been chipped and vets are under no legal obligation to police the new law.

VIDEO: Lily the pug puppy gets a microchip.

The chip - about the size of a grain of rice - is injected under the skin and registers the animal on a national database, showing the owner's contact details.

Owners who are caught with a dog without a microchip will be given a 21-day notice to get it done, but if they ignore this they will have to pay the fine.

Dogs of all ages will now have to be microchipped
Dogs of all ages will now have to be microchipped

Puppies can have a microchip implanted from about six weeks old depending on their size, but all dogs will be required to have one regardless of their age.

The microchip is injected under their skin
The microchip is injected under their skin

Katie Mackintosh, head veterinary nurse at Barrow Hill Veterinary Hospital in Ashford, said: "Microchipping is a part of responsible ownership.

"It means we can trace a dog if it goes missing and it also creates a line of accountability if the dog happened to get into any sort of bother.

Dogs are scanned to see if a microchip is present
Dogs are scanned to see if a microchip is present

"Any dogs that go straying we would be able to reunite very swiftly with their owners.

"We don't have to involve them going to the dog warden if we can get their details from the national database."

Katie Mackintosh, head veterinary nurse at Barrow Hill Surgery
Katie Mackintosh, head veterinary nurse at Barrow Hill Surgery

"I think it's a very big problem with stray dogs, re-homing centres are over-run with animals and they can't re-home them.

"It's also a way of accounting for breeders, making sure they breeding responsibly."

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