Roger Salmon column: Microchipping of pets offers many advantages

Roger Salmon
Roger Salmon

Sir Bruce Forsythe and his daughter Debbie set up the Microchipping Alliance after their dogs went missing in 2006.

The dogs were later recovered after a big campaign in national newspapers and from April 6 2016, all dogs will be required to have a microchip.

This would:

*Enable a lost or stray pet to be promptly returned to its owner;

*Allow puppies bred on puppy farms to be traced to their source;

*Enable clear identification of a dog’s owner when prosecution is being considered;

*Reduce the costs to local authorities as returning strays rapidly incurs less kennel costs;

*Pets injured or killed in road accidents can be identified and the owners informed;

*Identify pets that owners have lost. Many years ago Animal Care contacted me to inform me that they thought they *ad found my long-lost, grey cat. I was almost convinced that she was Emma who I had lost years previously and so took her home. After several months I realised she was putting on weight and x rayed her only to find she was having kittens. As my Emma had been neutered I realised this was not my cat but had the immense pleasure of rearing two beautiful kittens. Nowadays all my cats are microchipped to avoid this happening again.

The government says that 110,000 stray dogs are picked up by police, local authorities and animal welfare charities each year and 6,000 are put down because their owner is unknown.

June has been designated National Microchipping Month to encourage owners to notify the microchip database if their dog changes ownership.