The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged its members to ensure owners get their dogs microchipped.

Microchip insertion
From 6 April 2016, failure to have a dog microchipped and/or update database details can lead to a fine of up to £500.

With less than 100 days to go before microchipping becomes compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales, the BVA wants owners to make it a New Year’s resolution.

Legal requirement

Sean Wensley, president of the BVA, said: “Getting your dog microchipped is a great way to start the new year.

“It’s also essential, and part of the new legal requirement, that details on the microchip database, such as a change of address and contact numbers, are kept up to date by owners.

“It’s not uncommon for vets in practice to see pets with out-of-date information they are then unable to reunite with their worried owners.”

Compulsory microchipping

Figures from the BVA’s voice of the veterinary profession survey reveal the most common reason vets could not reunite missing dogs with their owners was due to a lack of identifier (reported by 71% of vets); followed by 23% citing incorrect information on the microchip database.

As a member of the Microchipping Alliance, the BVA was part of a coalition of animal health organisations and charities that campaigned to secure compulsory microchipping of all dogs across the UK – with Northern Ireland leading the way as the first country to introduce legislation in April 2012.

From 6 April, failure to have a dog microchipped or owners not updating database details can lead to a fine of up to £500.

  • More information on the incoming legislation, as well as posters for veterinary reception areas, can be found at
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