It’s a criminal offence to transfer a dog that isn’t microchipped and so breeders are required to have a puppy chipped and registered in their name prior to sale. Failure to comply is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £500.
To be regarded as ‘microchipped’ for the purposes of the Regulations the dog must not only have a microchip inserted but also:-
- The microchip itself must comply with set standards
- The registration must be on a database that is compliant with set standards
- It must be registered in the name of the keeper (the person who the dog normally lives with) and have an up to date address and phone number
- A dog’s first keeper is the owner of the bitch that gave birth to the puppy
If a keeper has a dog that is not microchipped (as set out above) that is a breach of the Regulations and an enforcer can serve a 21 day Notice to require compliance. Failure to comply with that Notice is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £500.
It is very important that keepers make sure that they keep their details up to date on the database.
There are restrictions on who can lawfully implant a microchip in a dog
There is a duty to report an adverse event (such as the microchip not working or if it has migrated from the point of implantation)
Just because a dog’s microchip is registered in a particular person’s name on the database doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be regarded in law as the owner of the dog. A microchip is evidence of ownership but it isn’t absolute proof of ownership.