News that compulsory microchipping for dogs will be introduced in Scotland from April 2016 has been met with support from veterinary practices and associations alike.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish branch welcomes the announcement, and also supports the cabinet secretary’s commitment to work towards a common approach with similar legislation being developed across the UK.
BVA president John Blackwell said: “With a deadline set for introduction, the Scottish Government now has the time to work out the details of implementation before microchipping becomes compulsory – for example, it is essential that it is clear who can and cannot implant microchips.”
The BVA is also keen to see that all databases are properly coordinated with a single point of entry.
Ronnie Soutar, president of the BVA’s Scotland branch added: “We will work with Richard Lochhead and his team over the next 12 months to spread the message to vets and their clients across Scotland about the introduction of these essential regulations in 2016, making sure that owners are well-prepared and know their responsibilities.”
Also responding to the news, the Pets’n’Vets family – a network of veterinary practices with surgeries around Glasgow and surrounding areas – welcomed the planned change in the law.
Partner Oliver Jackson said: “Microchipping is quick, painless, reliable and inexpensive and, as such, compulsory microchipping is to be welcomed. However, given the growth in the sale of puppies and dogs online, the issue of enforcement should be addressed ahead of the introduction of the new legislation.”
However, Mr Jackson doesn’t think such legislation should be restricted only to dogs.
He said: “While welcoming the compulsory microchipping of dogs, we would propose that the change in the law include cats – and, for that matter, rabbits too – and emphasise that, if it is to be effective, the new legislation will need to be enforced rigorously.”