Let me start by asking you this question so that you understand my position on this: If your microchipped stolen dog or cat was taken to the vets by their new family wouldn’t you want their microchip to be checked?
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 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 and 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 UK, Defra Government standardised databases 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!
I am pleased to report there has been a lot of activity some good and some bad!
The Chair of the Petitions Committee wrote to the Government to ask for an update on its work on the microchipping of dogs and cats.
In it’s responses to two separate petitions about this issue, the Government talked about a Post Implementation Review of The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, and a consultation on cat microchipping. The letter asks for an update on the outcome of this work.
Read the full letter here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2350/documents/23125/default/
In response, the Secretary of State, George Eustice says that the Government hopes to complete the review by the end of this year, including a consultation on cat microchipping in the next three months.
You can read the response in full here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2678/documents/26592/default/
There has also been a Private Members Bill by James Daly MP on a proposed Pet (Microchips) Bill, second reading on 29th January 2021.
The bad news is that #FernsLaw to help reunite microchipped, stolen and missing pets get home by compulsory microchip checking at first treatment has been cut out completely from the new bill, Daly is only supporting two other petitions, vets to scan healthy animals before euthanasia to check for rescue backup and councils to scan deceased pets before being thrown into landfill. Both worthy and important petitions but not addressing the whole issue.
I wondered if you could show your support for #FernsLaw when it’s time for the debate in Parliament and also if you could contact James Daly MP to ask him to include Fern’s Law into his Microchip Bill?
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.
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.
The Government said in response to Fern’s Law petition that they are 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. As my MP I would really appreciate you contacting Defra, supporting and encouraging their proposals for it to be compulsory for vets to check microchip at first treatment.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
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.