As the public consultation into the compulsory microchipping of dogs comes to a close, Petlog has found that 90% of the pet-owning British public think that microchipping dogs should be compulsory.

As the public consultation into the compulsory microchipping of dogs comes to a close, Petlog, the UK’s largest lost and found database, has found that 90% of the pet-owning British public think that microchipping dogs should be compulsory.

Microchip and needleHowever, the survey – answered by 450 people – found that only 38% of them believed it should be used to control dangerous dogs, while nearly all (97%) believed it should be mainly used to reunite lost pets with their owners.

The public consultation meanwhile, which is being proposed by DEFRA, focuses on using compulsory microchipping as a way of “tackling the irresponsible ownership of dogs“.

On the survey’s findings and the disparity of microchipping’s aims, Celia Walsom, Petlog executive, said: “The results from this survey were very promising and showed that there is huge support out there for compulsory microchipping. I hope that the public consultation demonstrates the true extent of public support and that DEFRA will seriously take this on board.

“Unfortunately, press coverage surrounding compulsory microchipping has been focusing on the issue of dangerous dogs and has ignored the main objective of a microchip which is reunification.

“The microchip is a fantastic way to identify pets, alongside other methods such as a collar and tag. But unlike the collar and tag a microchip is permanent, so no matter how long a pet has been missing they can still be traced back to their original owner.”

Agreeing, the RSPCA told Vetsonline that they believe microchipping should be used as part of a dog registration scheme and will not be successful in preventing dangerous dog issues alone.

“We would like to see it introduced as part of a dog registration scheme as we believe it is the best method of traceability,” said Andy Robbins, spokesperson for the RSPCA. “However, we agree that this is unlikely to prevent issues surrounding dangerous dogs alone, as it is simply a reactive measure.

“Often microchip details, if they exist at all, aren’t maintained. If microchipping is to be effective there needs to be a requirement to keep the details up to date, and then as part of a much wider registration scheme.”

DEFRA’s public consultation Tackling Irresponsible Dog Ownership comes to a close today (June 15, 2012). As well as compulsory microchipping, it also proposes the extension of the criminal offence of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control to private property.

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