UK & World News
Govt Plans To See Dogs Fitted With Microchips
Millions of dog owners will have to pay for their pets to be fitted with a microchip, under plans set to be announced next week.
Ministers are expected to say that every newborn puppy should be fitted with a device giving details of who they belong to.
The information will reportedly be stored on a central database which can be accessed by police and the RSPCA.
The government believes the proposals will make it easier to trace and prosecute owners of violent dogs.
But there are concerns that such individuals will not obey the law, while responsible people will be hit with extra costs.
Charities have broadly welcomed the rules, suggesting they could also help reunite lost dogs with owners.
But Neil Parish MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare, told the Daily Mail: "If we're not careful we're going to make things more difficult for legitimate dog owners, and not solve the real problem of dangerous dogs.
"We have got to find the dogs who are being bred illegally by people who mix breeds to create potentially vicious dogs.
"It's not so much the dogs that should be targeted, but the owners who train them to be vicious that must be targeted."
Welsh Environment Minister John Griffiths said last December that he was considering introducing legislation requiring all dogs in Wales to be microchipped.
A consultation is due to be launched later this year.
Mr Griffiths said: "Licensed dog breeders in Wales are already required to microchip all animals on their premises prior to them being moved or sold on.
"However, we are now considering plans that would require all dogs in Wales to be microchipped. This would promote responsible pet ownership, ensure pet owner accountability and help to improve the welfare of dogs across Wales."