The new microchipping law for dogs, which is set to come into effect on April 6th, could lead to potentially-fatal health problems, according to senior vet Richard Allport. From Wednesday, all dogs over the age of eight weeks will be required to wear a chip containing their owners’ names and addresses, but Allport says that many will be far too young for the procedure.
A 2014 review carried out by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate found eight cases in which cute little puppies reacted badly to microchips. The process involves implanting a grain of rice-sized chip between a dog’s shoulder blades.
“I think the age by which puppies must be microchipped – eight weeks – is far too young,” he wrote in the latest edition of Dog Today magazine. “Most of the serious adverse reactions (including death) have been in puppies and small breeds. My advice to people who don’t want their dogs microchipped is to sit tight and do nothing.”
The only problem with taking this approach is that the government plans to fine people £500 for not complying. For many, that’s a big hit to take. However, it’s difficult to imagine David Cameron and co unleashing a TV license-style swat team to swarm over the nation’s kennels and parks.
DEFRA says that the move could and should save local councils and animal welfare charities around £33 million a year in pet repatriation costs. The chip will also allow authorities to locate the owners of abused dogs. Let’s just hope David Cameron has a more substantial punishment than a £500 fine...something a little closer to the bone. [Independent]