The new law aims to reduce stray dog numbers, improve animal welfare and will close a legal loophole to make it easier for owners to be prosecuted over a dog attack on private land.


Failure to comply with the new law could result in fines of up to £500 for owners.

From 6 April 2016, all owners and breeders in the UK will have a legal responsibility to microchip their dog. Here's all you need to know about the new law.

The Rules:

Regulations set by the government mean that all dogs over eight weeks old in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped. This change affects not only owners but also breeders, who will be responsible for microchipping puppies before they are sold as well as registering their own personal details.

The Penalties

Owners and breeders of dogs who fail to abide by the new rules will at first be served with a notice to comply progressing to a possible criminal prosecution and £500 fine if they fail to bring their dog up to standards.

The Dates:

England will be the first of the home countries to see this law in action when it comes into force on 6th April 2016. Scotland and Wales follow suit afterwards with the specific dates still to be announced.

The Exemptions:

There are two; if a vet certifies in writing that an individual dog’s health would be affected or if a working dog has a docked tail, then the dog does not need to be microchipped.

Dogs Trust is currently offering a free microchipping by appointment at it's network of rehoming centres, and at various public events throughout the UK. Click here to find your nearest event. Some councils and veterinary clinics are also offering a free microchipping service.


Alternatively, visit: to find a centre near you.