Explained – The changes to the law in Microchipping

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The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 is a draft bill set to come into action by the 6th April 2016 making it a legal requirement for all dogs in England to be microchipped by 8 weeks old. This means all dogs and owner’s details will be held on databases such as PetLog (managed by The Kennel Club) to ease reuniting lost pets with owners. The main aim of this legislation is to reduce the amount of abandoned animals, with animal rescue centres becoming more and more crowded compulsory microchipping will ensure owners cannot avoid responsibility for their pets.

What is microchipping?
A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted just under a pet’s skin, usually on their back. This microchip contains a unique code which when scanned contains information about the pet and their owners. This information is stored on databases and is accessible by veterinary centres, the dog warden service and other animal organisations and can be used whenever a pet is lost to trace their registered owners. It is important for owners to keep this information correct and up to date and, under the new legislation coming into force in April next year, owners will be required by law to inform their microchip database within 21 days of any changes. If owners fail to microchip their dogs or keep these details up to date they may be liable to a fine of £500.

How do I become a microchipper?
Contrary to popular belief Microchipping does not need to be done by a vet but can also be done by a qualified implanter who has undertaken adequate training. On the 24th February 2015, changes in legislation meant that all training must be carried out by an approved supplier such as PeddyMark or Tracer. When looking at different training programmes and deciding where to qualify make sure they have an approved status certificate which should be displayed on their website or you can ask to see this.
Becoming an implanter is easier than you think, it simply takes four hours of one to one training with a qualified instructor. With PeddyMark, trainers travel to you at a time you have specified to ensure the process is entirely at your convenience. Allowing one to one training also means any questions you have will be answered and you will come away a more confident qualified implanter.

Cat being microchippedWhat will I need to become a microchipper?
To set up your own pet microchipping business you will need to have the space, the correct qualification, equipment, a customer base and most importantly insurance. Within your training you will cover what health and safety regulations you will need to comply with in regards to your work area and equipment. There may be an initial investment needed to ensure these are all up to standard. Once you have qualified the next step is to find clients, it is worth networking with local breeders, vets, animal shelters, pet training classes and pet businesses to advertise your services. As the new legislation comes in in April, it is worth getting the word out about your business early as more and more pet owners will be needing a microchipper. When you are dealing with other people’s pets it is important to have adequate insurance so that if you are found to be negligent and cause an injury to an animal then you will be covered for any legal costs. To obtain a comprehensive and competitive quote for your pet microchipping business click here.

If you are looking to start your own pet business, microchipping could be a great way to start with only a small amount of training and investment needed. However, with changes in this area of law it is important to keep up to date and ensure your training is adequate to ensure your pet microchipping business complies with government standards.