DEFRA respond to the petition! No to Compulsory Microchip Scanning.

Compulsory Microchip Scanning on pets to be introduced alongside Compulsory Microchipping with a microchip proving ownership.

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have just learnt that the first petition reply was in fact not correct, as Defra were informed by BVA the following:-

Although BVA  had said they supported  scanning new patients as “best practice”  the BVA Council realized that there needed to be a much clearer understanding of what the responsibilities would be of the databases and how the process would work for a vet if the details didn’t match. This has still not been clarified and so we haven’t issued any guidance to members.

This e-petition has received the following response:

As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:

We do not plan to introduce compulsory scanning. This is because it is already best practice that stray pets are scanned for microchips when received by vets and rescue centres. The guidance provided by the British Veterinary Association advises veterinarians to always scan animals brought into their surgeries for the first time. Details of pets and those keeping them should be recorded on a microchip database so that pets can be re-united with their owners if those pets go missing. The new requirement from April 2016 for all dogs in England to be microchipped and for the details of the dog and its owner to be recorded on a database, will also require for such details to be kept up to date. The database should be informed when any pet is lost or stolen. If a stolen pet is identified through scanning the chip, then the database can advise the keeper on what steps may be taken.


The first petition link click here:-


Also incorrect,  is the database information as there are no further steps advised by the databases as they consider a found stolen dog, who is with a new owner, a civil action:-


We have a new dog tail about Benji which will explain what the next step is for registered microchip owners:-


ANOTHER PET OWNER LET DOWN BY THE MICROCHIP SYSTEM! BENJI went missing in June’13, from Edinburgh, Scotland. Benji is microchipped and you can imaging the registered microchip owner’s joy when she got a call from a vet to say they had seen BENJI on 12th May’14.
This is the story so far from owner’s comments:-
“Great news had a call from the vets saying they had Benji in to see them, 1year later. Waiting on the Database calling me back, may finally get my boy back!”
“Hi can ppl help me please have been on the phone to Database and they say they can’t do anything more so basically they know where Benji is but can’t do nothing so I may never get my boy back. I can’t afford solicitors etc wish I could as I would fight all the way. Any ideas would be much appreciated also I would like to mention that it is in Dunfermline so if anyone knows anything please let me know. Thanks. X”If you have any information please contact owner on:- 07769994061In this situation the database and the vet are bound by Data Protection and cannot pass on the ‘new owners’ contact details onto the registered microchip owner/keeper but they can pass the information onto the police or a lawyer.

This leaves Benji’s registered microchip owner/keeper needing to get the police involved, getting a lawyer or working out herself how to start proceedings in the small claims court, to get her own dog back home!! Once the microchip owner has the name and address of the new owner, a mediator maybe able to help before going down the legal route.

We believe that a microchip should be proof of ownership and BENJI should have been reunited immediately. Isn’t that what you thought should happen?

Our petition is for compulsory scanning of microchips but also for a microchip to be proof of ownership. In DEFRA’S response to the petition they say:- ‘If a stolen pet is identified through scanning the chip, then the database can advise the keeper on what steps may be taken’. Did you realise that this was the next step?


Please do not attack the database or the Vet, they are working to the law as it stands today, that is why we have our petiton and why we will carry on working to get the law changed in favour of the pet owner.

The owner is getting the police involved and as we have seen before this, ‘sometimes’, helps get the dog back home without the need of court action, which can take some time.

Will keep you all up to date.

Trevor Cooper from DogLaw’s comments on this issue are below.
 An estimated 3,000 dogs are stolen each year and many are sold on to new owners.
By 2016 microchipping will be a legal requirement but Trevor Cooper, a solicitor specialising in dog law, confirmed that at the moment microchipping was not proof of ownership.
In cases where possession was disputed, a civil case before the small claims court would decide a dog’s future.
A judge would consider the merits of the microchip against other evidence, including who has cared for the dog and paid veterinary charges.


The court would then act in the best interests of the dog. The legal terms regarding micro-chipping in two years time had not yet been defined, he added.


(The JUDGE would then act in the best interests of the dog means, that the dog may not be returned to the registered microchip owner!!)  





To read the full response and the petition click here:- sign