Our #FernsLaw petition to make it compulsory for veterinarians to check microchip registration at pets first visit to reunite sold-on stolen pets, reached over 100,000 signatures in under four months and was selected for a debate in Parliament on 28th June 2021.  The outcome was that Defra would update the public after the Pet Theft Taskforce produced their report:

Pet abduction to be made new criminal offence in crackdown on pet theft

Pet Theft Taskforce delivers report with key findings and recommendations:

A proposed intervention recommended by the Taskforce was the compulsory scanning of microchips by vets at first consultation to enable the identification of stolen dogs or cats so that they can be reunited with their rightful owner. Questions on compulsory microchip scanning of dogs and cats formed part of a public consultation on cat microchipping that carried out earlier this year is considering the responses and will put forward proposals this autumn.

Full report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-report/pet-theft-taskforce-report

3rd September 2021.

George Eustice MP, Defra Minister, asked for the petition to be held over for a Parliamentary debate until the results are in for the Government’s consultation on cat and dog scanning and microchipping which closed on February 17th 2021.

Results released in 2023 showed overwhelming support from the public to check microchip registration at first treatment. This would also help owners with unregistered microchips who don’t understand the complexities of the microchip system, especially the existing problems with the fraudulent database allowed to trade in the UK.

Everyone must check their pet’s microchip registration is correct and compliant on a UK database. There are at present 22 databases that meet Government standards. Check which database you are on, full list on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-cat-microchipped

Make it compulsory for all new pets taken to the veterinary practice with an owner to have their microchip scanned and registration checked, to help sold on and kept missing dogs, cats and horses get home! Something we all assume is already happening:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300010

A Microchip is useless to a stolen or missing pet, unless the UK and Vets Get Scanning and the microchipping system is completely updated! We know there are so many loopholes in the present system because we learnt the hard way when in May 2006 our microchipped dogs were stolen!  




We were advised by Doglost that the dogs would probably be sold on quickly, we thought this was good news as once the new owners went to the vet with our dogs they would be scanned and the microchip database registration would be checked and the dogs would be returned to us but that is not what happens and why we started this appeal to ‘Get Vets Scanning’ in 2006.




We want all vet practices to scan and check microchip registration on all new dogs and cats on their first appointment to make sure pet and owner match  


#ScanMe #CheckThatChip.  



Our aim is to see all vets acknowledging and implementing as a ‘Code of Practice’ the scanning and checking of microchips in practices up and down the country.  Scanning and Checking microchips will reunite missing and stolen pets that have been sold on or kept by a finder. Scanning and checking chips will also help pet owners with updating their contact details.




Vets can play a major role in helping missing pets find their way back home.  


UPDATE: The BVA have included scanning microchips of all new registering pets with an owner but as ‘Best Practice’. This is not a directive and leaves vets with the option not to scan and check microchips if they don’t want too.

Click here to read:-

BVA Microchip Scanning Databases 

We want a directive as a ‘Code of Practice’ from RCVS, BVASA and BVA, to ensure scanning and checking of microchips is performed by all vet practices, to make sure pet and owner match as a Standard Procedure by all.

This is the only way stolen pets that have been sold on to unsuspecting new owners or kept found pets will be found.

A big thank you to the 70,800 pet owners who signed the #ScanMe petition in 2016 for   Compulsory Microchip Scanning   We couldn’t have got to this point without your support and the support of the Vets who do scan.

Defra’s response was extremely disappointing:-   The Government does not consider it necessary to require everyone who comes into contact with a dog to scan it in order to check compliance with the microchipping requirements or to establish whether the dog is lost or stolen.

Although there has been a steady campaign to require vets to scan microchips when dogs are first presented with to them, the compulsory scanning of microchips by vets is not supported by the veterinary profession or the mainstream animal welfare charities and on that basis it has not been made a requirement in the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015. In view of this clear advice we do not intend to change the current position on scanning to make it compulsory for vets to scan microchips.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs




Is a microchip proof of ownership? NO

Do all vets scan pets with owners and check registration? NO

Do all rescues scan and check registration before rehoming? NO

Do all rescues cross check surrendered pets with microchip registration? NO

Do all council pounds scan before seven day deadline? NO

Do all Highway and Byways scan deceased pets? NO

Do all Network Rail agencies scan deceased pets? NO

Do all exit ports from the UK scan pets leaving the UK?  NO

Please write or email your MP and talk to your vet, you may need to find your pet one day!

Failure to report a found or stray dog to the local dog warden, which is the law, could result in you being charged with ‘THEFT OF AN ANIMAL BY FINDING’ and you can be fined up to £500.

IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY BOUGHT, RESCUED OR REHOMED A DOG OR CAT AND YOU ARE NOT YOUR PETS FIRST OWNER:-     Please take the pet to be scanned for a microchip, it might belong to someone else!

The last Pet Theft Census published by MoreThan Insurance was in 2013 and states that:-

Official Police Data shows the equivalent of at least three Cats and Dogs were stolen every day last year.  Showing  that 54% of owners never see their pets again.

52% are stolen from owner’s gardens.
19% are stolen in a house burglary.
16% are stolen from owner while on a walk.
7% are stolen while tied up outside a shop
5% are stolen from a car.

Please write or email your MP, it will make a difference we need your support:- http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

There are 6 UK databases, Petlog, Anibase, PetProtect, Avid, SmartChip and Pet Identity.

Please note Petlog are the only database that share their microchip data for stolen/missing pets with EuroPetNet.com and Halo ScannerAngel.com

If you have bought an imported puppy or have bought your pet into the UK from overseas, your pet’s microchip will not be registered on a UK database.   If your pet is lost and found the microchip will show up as unregistered and after seven days in a rescue unclaimed your pet will be legally rehomed.

Check your microchip is registered in the UK:-  http://www.check-a-chip.co.uk

If a pet is found with an overseas microchip,  check here:-  https://www.europetnet.com

If you don’t have the chip number, ask your vet to scan your dog/cat’s microchip!