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Petitions

Volume 554: debated on Monday 26 November 2012

Petition

Monday 26 November 2012

Observations

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dog micro-chipping

The Petition of pupils and teachers at Our Lady of Hartley Primary School,

Declares that it is sensible to have all dogs microchipped as puppies; further that the Petitioners believe that this will reduce the amount of lost or abandoned dogs and will also help to ensure that the owners of dangerous dogs can be held to account as the Petitioners believe it is the owners, not the dogs, who are at fault; further that the Petitioners do not wish for microchipping to be made compulsory but wish it to be strongly encouraged and made accessible for all in terms of cost.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to consider measures to encourage dog owners to have their dogs microchipped and that the Government seek to reduce the cost of microchipping puppies.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Gareth Johnson, Official Report, 5 November 2012; Vol. 552, c. 700.]

[P001127]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

The Government agree that there are many benefits to microchipping a dog such as improving the chances of having it returned should it become lost or stolen. In 2010 there were over 100,000 lost or abandoned dogs handed into re-homing centres. As many such dogs are very often not microchipped, many owners cannot be traced resulting in their dogs having to be re-homed. In many cases, where homes are not found, dogs have to be destroyed. In 2010, some 6,000 dogs had to be put down.

Most owners see the benefits of microchipping their dogs with around 58% of dogs already microchipped. However, we want every owner to understand that microchipping their dog is beneficial not only to them and their dog but also to others such as dog re-homing centres who receive lost or displaced dogs and sometimes struggle to find the original owners where dogs do not have up-to-date micrcochips.

Linking dogs with their owners forms an important part of the Government’s attempt to promote more responsible ownership of dogs. On 23 April, the Government announced proposals to tackle irresponsible ownership of dogs. Included in the proposals was the proposal to introduce compulsory microchipping of puppies. The proposals were subject to a period of consultation which closed on 15 June. We received over 27,000 responses and will make an announcement about the way forward once we have completed the analysis of the responses.