Blue Cross blog
Compulsory microchipping could help keep our nation’s pets safePosted on 28 Jun 2012
It’s coming to the end of National Microchipping Month but there’s still a lot of work to do if we’re going to tackle the huge number of stray and abandoned dogs, as Blue Cross public affairs manager Rachel Cunningham reveals…
June is National Microchipping Month and charities and animal welfare organisations have been promoting the benefits of microchipping across the UK.
Blue Cross has been campaigning for the introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs for some time now along with other charities, veterinary organisations and dog breeders.
We believe that due to the huge number of dogs that stray and are abandoned every year, owners should be required by law to permanently identify their dogs.
In our opinion the best way of doing this is by microchip. Over the last year Blue Cross has microchipped more than 5,300 pets at our centres and hospitals. But there is still a long way to go yet!
What’s a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny device, slightly bigger than a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin on the back of a pet’s neck, just in front of their shoulder blades.
Each microchip has a unique number which can be read with a scanner. This number matches a record on a database which contains the owner’s contact details so that they can be contacted straightaway and reunited with their pet.
Animal charities and local authorities use scanners to check stray animals for microchips.
Why microchipping is so important
If the animal is not chipped it’s almost impossible to reunite them with their family.
By microchipping your pet, you’ve got a much higher chance of seeing them again if they go missing and it would mean fewer animals were being destroyed because no home can be found for them.
In 2011 more than 100,000 stray dogs were picked up by local authorities. Many of these could be returned to their owners because they were chipped, but many others were destroyed simply because there was no way of knowing if they had an owner that was missing them.
Benefits of compulsory microchipping
A voluntary scheme can only go so far and due to the huge numbers of dogs currently being bred and sold, we feel that making microchipping compulsory is the only way to ensure that we can better manage the welfare of the UK dog population in the future.
Compulsory microchipping would also reinforce the principles of responsible pet ownership.
Anyone that takes on a dog should be prepared to care for, provide for, and take responsibility for them for the rest of their life.
Sometimes that’s just not possible, and under those circumstances, we advise people to ask an animal rescue organisation for help.
Our pets give us companionship, love and affection. The very least an owner can do is to be prepared to take responsibility for their pet.