- Compulsory microchipping was due to come into force in Wales on 1 March but has now been delayed until spring 2016 – the same as England;
- Microchipping is already compulsory in Northern Ireland.
The Welsh Government announced last week that compulsory microchipping in Wales has been delayed until spring 2016, to coincide with the law coming into force in England. A further consultation is now taking place in Wales to determine who will enforce the law and who will record the information from the microchips.
Now, from April 2016, all dogs in England and Wales will have to be microchipped or face a potential fine of up to £500. Scotland is currently holding a consultation about whether it also makes it law for dog owners to microchip their pets. It has been compulsory for dogs to be microchipped in Northern Ireland since 2012.
Gocompare.com has analysed 277 pet insurance policies and has found that 16 offer discounts for dogs that are microchipped.
Most of the policies offer a discount of 5% for microchipped animals, while one provider offers a 10% discount.*
The price comparison site also looked at its own data and found that in 2014, just under a quarter (24%) of dog owners who got a quote for pet insurance through Gocompare.com didn’t have their animals microchipped, while a fifth (21%) didn’t know whether their dog was chipped or not.**
Ben Wilson, Gocompare.com’s pet insurance expert, said: “Microchipping your dog should be as important as getting your dog its first inoculations. Getting all dogs in the UK chipped means that the authorities will be able to monitor genetic diseases in the dogs, deter dog theft as well as encourage responsible dog ownership and improve animal welfare.
“And as our analysis has shown some insurers give dog owners a discount for microchipping there is even more reason to ensure that your dog is chipped – other than the obvious welfare benefits.”
Ben added: “As a nation of animal lovers it’s great to see that the rest of the UK is following Northern Ireland’s lead in making it illegal not to have your dog chipped. The burden on animal shelters grows every year and microchipping every dog will mean that traceability of stray animals will be a lot easier.
“It is also very important for owners to update their address details if they move. There’s no point in a microchip if you no longer live at that address. Make sure you keep all of the details on your animal up to date with the microchipping company as well as your vet.
“Many animal charities now offer microchipping for free, so there’s no excuse for pet owners not to get their animals chipped. The chip is merely a small electronic device that holds an identification number that can be read by a scanner, so will not hurt your dog.
“Simple steps like microchipping and getting pet insurance are good ways to ensure that your dog is properly looked after. Both are relatively cheap and easy to do and mean that you know your best friend is protected if it gets lost or if it gets ill.”
For more information on microchipping, read Gocompare.com’s microchipping guide.
Notes to editors
*Source: Defaqto matrix of 277 dog insurance quotes. Correct as of 19/2/2015
**Based on Gocompare.com data on pet insurance quotes from January to November 2014.