BASC warns gundog owners of looming deadline

BASC is reminding gundog owners there are just two months to comply with new microchipping laws.

As of April 6, microchipping will be compulsory for dogs more than eight weeks old in England, Scotland and Wales.* Microchipping is already a legal requirement in Northern Ireland as part of dog licensing legislation.

Microchipping involves injecting a chip the size of a grain of rice under the skin; the chip contains a code linking to details of the dog’s owner on a database. Breeders will be required to microchip puppies before they are rehomed.

BASC game and gamekeeping officer Alex Farrell said: “It is important owners do not fall foul of this new law. Those who fail to meet the new requirements could be fined £500. BASC is concerned that many people are unaware of the legislation and their need to take action.”

Ian Grindy, chairman of BASC’s gameshooting and gamekeeping committee, said: “Dogs are a crucial part of many people’s shooting team and it takes many, many hours of hard work to get them to that standard. It is reassuring to know an animal may be reunited quicker than if it were not chipped.”

Dogs Trust is offering free microchipping at events at their re-homing centres and is also working with vets to increase the uptake of microchipping before the deadline.

*This does not include dogs exempted by a vet for health reasons or puppies whose tails have been docked. If a certified working dog has qualified for tail docking, the owner must have it microchipped before it is three months old.