The latest debate that is going on in the dog world is that by 2016 all dog owners in England must have their dog micro-chipped apparently to help cut stray dogs. A micro chip is inserted just beneath a dog’s skin and contains a unique number which is on a database that records the owner’s details. Before I carry on my thought process, I should add that both our girls are micro-chipped and have been since the first week or two that we brought them home.
So, the pro’s for micro-chipping :
- You can immediately tell from the chip who owns the dog.
- If a dog goes missing or is stolen and is subsequently picked up by a dog warden or vet, they scan the dog and it can then be re-united with it’s owner. I personally know a story of this happening where a dog that had been stolen from its owner’s garden and after a year the owner received a call from a vet. The vet had been asked to micro-chip this dog by it’s new owners who had answered a newspaper advert and as part of standard practice, dogs are scanned to check they aren’t already chipped. The database raised a flag that the dog was stolen and it’s original owner was so relieved to get their beloved pet back.
- Should an incident happen with a dog , be it a dog bite/attack or anything of the sort, and the owner makes a run and leaves the scene but the dog is secured, then it should in theory be easier to locate the owner and the police could deal with the incident.
The cons of micro-chipping are:
- Most responsible dog owners already micro-chip their dogs and so the ones that should be are not.
- If someone has not updated their contact details relating to the micro-chip, be it they sold the dog or moved house or the owner is deceased etc, this is not going to necessarily help in relation to dog incidents.
- It will not stop puppy farms
- It will not stop people from treating their animals badly
- This only relates to dogs…what about unsociable cats, snakes etc etc
- There is currently (to the best of my knowledge) nothing the police can do if a dog attacks another dog whilst on a walk.
So the questions that I now have are :
- Will the UK government make it compulsory for people to micro-chip their cats (there are loads of stray cats about) along with any other pet?
- Will they use the information they gather from the micro-chip to stop dog foul littering the pavements?
- How will they ensure that every dog has been micro-chipped and stop puppy farms?
- How will a micro-chip ensure that dogs are treated with care and not abused?
I have many more and those a just the start. My point is, I do believe in micro-chipping mainly because I worry with the number of dogs currently being stolen, that it will hopefully be one way of being re-united with our beloved pets. I don’t however believe, that it will be a way of cutting down the number of strays (especially in the current economic climate where pets are considered a luxury) and making it compulsory. If the government was to say that all dogs would get micro-chipped for free – then possibly – but that will start another debate on whether the government is spending it’s pennies on the right priorities.