Sunday, February 22, 2015
Microchip required for all dogs next year
EVERY dog in the country will have to be microchipped from next year.
The compulsory electronic register and tracking system is due to be rolled out on a phased basis, beginning with puppies this September, the Government has confirmed.
Owners with older dogs will have to follow suit from March 2016.
It's hoped the new law will help address a number of issues including animal welfare and the illegal trafficking trade.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the scheme would have a number of "positive benefits", including cutting down on the number of strays.
"The widespread microchipping will provide a basic tool to protect the welfare of all dogs and assist with speedily uniting stray dogs with their owners.
"It will act as a deterrent for those who abandon dogs and assist in identifying marauding dogs and those that pose a threat to livestock or people," he added.
Microchipping was part of legislation introduced last year that also banned people from attending and recording dog fights.
It's estimated that it will cost around €50 to have the chip, which is usually the size of a grain of rice, fitted.
However, the Department of Agriculture said people other than vets can be trained to perform the procedure to cut down on costs.
The tiny tracker carries a unique code that can be scanned and is generally placed just under the skin between the animal's shoulder blades.
They will be linked to privately-controlled databases that form part of europetnet.ie - a European network that records the registration of dogs.
Dogs Trust Ireland has welcomed the news, saying it "marks a breakthrough for dog welfare in Ireland".
The organisation has financially assisted in the microchipping of over 5,500 dogs.