I recently signed a petition called #FernsLaw to make it compulsory to scan and check microchip ID to reunite stolen dogs and cats with their rightful families when they attend a veterinary practice or rescue centre with a new family and I’m happy to report it’s reached it’s 100,000 signature target in just over 4 months:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300010
Gaps in the law prevent stolen dogs/pets from being reunited with their families, despite being microchipped. Vets, rescues & authorities are under no obligation to check microchips of any pet they treat. It’s now time for them to check pet and keeper match on the original database at a pets first consultation or yearly checkup. It’s the only chance missing microchipped pets that have been kept or sold on to new families will have to get home!
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) say they don’t have the authority to make it compulsory for their members to scan and check microchip ID as each vet practice sets their own practice policies. Giving guidance and recommendations to check microchips is not enough when there is a legal obligation for the public to microchip their pets, there must be a reciprocal legal obligation to check microchip registration. That’s why we need the Government to intervene and legislate, leaving it to ‘best practice’ recommendations is not working.
We have microchipped our pets with the expectation to be reunited if the worst happens and they are lost or stolen. If just one organisation is not committed to scan and check microchip registration the whole system fails and is not fit for purpose. Legislation is needed.
I note the Government’s response ‘We will consider reform options including whether this should be mandatory as part of Post Implementation Review of the microchipping regulations. They went on to say ‘Ministers will continue to emphasise the importance of vets scanning pet animals when they are first presented to their surgery.’
The Government concluded:- The Government is also considering proposals for the scanning of dogs by vets as part of the ongoing Post Implementation Review of The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.
Please note it’s not just scanning the animal, the important issue is that the microchip registration must be checked on the original database to establish if a pet is reported as missing or stolen. There are protocols in place for vets to either contact the database directly or the police.
As my MP I would appreciate your support in protecting our domestic pets by endorsing #FernsLaw petition to make it compulsory for vets, rescues and authorities to check microchip registration and asking you to contact the Defra Minister, George Eustice MP and Zac Goldsmith, the Minister of State for Animal Welfare and compel them to make the necessary changes to the existing dog Microchipping legislation.
If the Government can make it compulsory to microchip our dogs (cats to be included soon), they can make it compulsory to scan and check microchip ID.
If your stolen dog or cat was taken to the vets by their new family wouldn’t you want their microchip to be checked?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply with the Ministers responses.
To find your MP’s email address, just add your postcode in this link:- https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
Don’t forget to add
- Full Name
- Full address and postcode.
Let us know what your MP says.
#FernsLaw campaign is part of The Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance #PetTheftReform campaign, working alongside Vets Get Scanning, DogLost and Pet Theft Awareness.