Once a microchip has been implanted the details must be recorded on a database in order to comply with the definition of ‘microchipping’ included in the regulations. The following information is required in the English regulations, please be aware that there are slight differences in requirements in the Welsh and Scottish regulations, such as the email address (if any) of the keeper.
1. The full name, address and telephone number of the keeper; A keeper is defined at regulation 2(2):
a) For an assistance dog (as defined in section 173(1) of the Equality Act 2010) the body responsible for its training and allocation up until the dog stops working as an assistance dog; once it stops working as an assistance dog the keeper is the person it lives with;
b) For a newborn puppy, the owner of a bitch that gives birth to that puppy (this means that the breeder is the first keeper of any dog that has been bred by the owner of the bitch); or
c) For any other dogs, the person with whom the dog normally resides.
If the keeper is homeless, contact details for someone the keeper stays in touch with may be entered.
In this regulation ‘breeder’ means any keeper of a bitch that whelps, whether or not they carry on a business as a breeder of dogs; if the keeper is the breeder and is licensed by the local authority under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973(6) the following should also be recorded:
(i) the breeder’s licence number; and
(ii) the name of the local authority by which they are licensed;
2. The original name or identification number given to the dog; and the name given to the dog by the current keeper, if that is different
3. The sex of the dog;
4. The breed of the dog, or a description if it is a cross-breed;
5. The colour of the dog;
6. The most accurate estimate of the dog’s date of birth which the keeper is capable of giving – in the case of the breeder this should be the exact date of birth;
7. The unique number of the microchip implanted in the dog.
While the responsibility for ensuring details are recorded or updated on the database is the responsibility of the keeper, in reality many veterinary practices will take on the responsibility for registering details of the keeper for any microchips that they implant. While the veterinary practice should make normal enquiries and take care to ensure that the details are entered accurately, they are not expected to make documentary checks on the information provided by the keeper.
Transfer of ownership
From 6th April 2016, no keeper may transfer a dog to a new keeper until it has been microchipped unless an exemption certificate that the dog should not be microchipped for reasons of the animal’s health has been issued by a veterinary surgeon (see Requirement and exemption section).
From 6th April 2016, where a dog is transferred to a new keeper the new keeper must, unless the previous keeper has already done so, record their full name, address and contact telephone number (if any) and any change in the dog’s name with the database on which the dog’s details are recorded.
Veterinary surgeons are not expected to enforce these regulations but do have a role in ensuring that their clients are aware of their responsibilities under the law, and registration is an essential part of compliance with the regulations.
Where a new keeper presents with a dog that is already microchipped and still registered to the previous keeper they should be advised to contact the appropriate database.