Almost ‘half a million’ dog owners facing fines up to €5,000

New regulations mean all dogs must be microchipped and owners’ details registered

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is charging €15 to microchip and register dogs, but costs in veterinary practices vary. Photograph: EPA

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is charging €15 to microchip and register dogs, but costs in veterinary practices vary. Photograph: EPA

 

Almost half a million dog owners who have not had their animals microchipped are facing fines of up to €5,000 from Friday.

From April 1st almost one million animals must be microchipped and registered with one of four authorised databases.

Dog owners will be required to have a certificate that their microchip has been registered.

The two-step process, to microchip and register, imposed by the Department of Agriculture does not release owners from the requirement to also have a dog licence, said the Department of the Environment.

The Department of Agriculture said all owners whose dogs have not yet been microchipped should bring their animals to the vet or an authorised welfare organisation to have the procedure, akin to an injection, carried out. The microchip will carry a 15 digit number which will correspond to the dog owner’s name and contact details on any one of the four databases. The registration process is done online at the same time as the dog is microchipped.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) is charging €15 to microchip and register dogs, but costs in veterinary practices vary, with some vets offering to microchip dogs as part of a package which includes vaccination and neutering.

Registration

The four databases with which owners can register their pet’s chip are: Animark, Fido, the Irish Coursing Club and Irish Kennel Club.

Chief executive of the DSPCA Brian Gillen said there were more than 800,000 dogs in the State. Of these he said only about half had been microchipped, while large numbers of those had yet to have the chip registered.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said microchipping every dog would greatly help to reunite lost animals with their owners. He also said the microchip would “act as a deterrent to those who abandon dogs and assist in identifying marauding dogs and those that pose a threat to livestock or people”.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association said the deadline was a timely reminder to all dog owners of the danger posed to livestock by dogs.

However while micro copying will involve owners in extra expense, new research suggests the benefits of owning a pet can be life saving. According to research from Purina, the pet food arm of Nestlé’s 70 per cent of owners said owning a pet has improved their health and wellbeing; with four in 10 saying their pet makes them feel happier and improves their mood.

Companionship for Irish pet owners is the overwhelming reason for having a pet cited by those surveyed. This was followed by the need to make their home and family feel more safe and secure with the urge to make themselves and their children happy and more active . A little more than half of adult respondents said they would like their pet to be able to come with them to a care home or hospice.