It has been announced today that compulsory microchipping will be introduced from April 6 2016 for all dogs in the UK, in the hope that the staggering amount of strays will be significantly reduced.

With more than 100,000 dogs left on the street or lost every year, the chips, which hold electronic information of their owner’s names and address, will enable owners not only to be reunited with their missing pet but also to be held accountable for their dog’s behaviour.

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson detailed the plans noting that it is a ‘simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners.’ It was also noted that the scheme will ‘ease the pressure on charities and councils to find new homes for these dogs’.

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Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home are both enthusiastically supporting the move. Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust expressed her delight with the announcement believing that this ‘immediate method of identification is essential to improve dog welfare’.

Dogs will be able to be microchipped for free at the 18 Dogs Trust centres, the three centres of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and at Blue Cross hospitals and centres. Local authorities and veterinary surgeries will be offered free microchips by Dogs Trust.

The microchips will also aid in tracking down owners of dangerous dogs. The increase in patients admitted to hospital with dog bites has been significant throughout the last decade. Over 3,000 postal workers were attacked by vicious dogs in the last year, and eight children and six adults have been killed by out-of-control dogs since 2005.

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