Support for micro-chipping

A vet nurse microchips a small dog.
A vet nurse microchips a small dog.

Dogs Trust representatives met with MSPs last week to discuss possible moves for the complusory micro-chipping of dogs.

North-east Scotland MSP and Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead met with representatives of the dog welfare charity to discuss proposals for the move.

The meeting follows the planned introduction of complusory micro-chipping in the rest of the UK.

At the meeting Mr Lochhead confirmed that he will consider with ministerial colleagues the possibility of consulting on the issue.

During the meeting, Dogs Trust outlined the numerous welfare benefits of microchipping, which is a simple and effective tool to help rapidly reunite lost or straying pets with their owners.

This in turn reduces the number of healthy dogs unnecessarily put to sleep in the country.

The charity is campaigning for microchipping to be made compulsory in Scotland – this aim has significant support amongst Scots.

A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Dogs Trust, revealed that a significant 82% of Scottish adults support the introduction of compulsory microchipping of all dogs in Scotland, with just 9% opposed to it and a further 9% unsure.

The measure also has cross-party support within Parliament, and Scottish Labour recently launched a campaign calling for its introduction.

With this backing, Dogs Trust believes that the time is right for the Scottish Government to act and legislate for this vital component of dog welfare and responsible ownership.

The benefits can already be seen in Northern Ireland which introduced compulsory microchipping in 2012 and Wales and England are set to follow suit in 2015 and 2016 respectively,

Speaking following the meeting, Dogs Trust public affairs manager, Laura Vallance, said: “We are delighted that the Minister met with us to discuss compulsory microchipping, and are very encouraged by his decision to discuss with colleagues the possibility of issuing a consultation.

Compulsory microchipping has both cross-party support within the Scottish Parliament and the support of the majority of the Scottish people.

“We greatly look forward to hearing the results of the Minister’s discussions on the possibility of a consultation, and until then we will continue to promote this important facet of dog welfare across Scotland”.

Meanwhile, Ms Milne commented: “I hope that the Scottish Government will look to follow the positive progress made by the UK Government and introduce a similar change in the law in Scotland as soon as possible and prior to the law change in England taking effect in 2016.”

There is a one-off fee for micro-chipping, but dog owners can currently get the service for free by appointment at any Dogs Trust centre.

Dogs Trust assured Mr Lochhead that a similar scheme would be implemented in Scotland were compulsory microchippingbe introduced north of the border.