Free microchipping events for dogs in preparation of new legislation

South Somerset District Council’s (SSDC) Enforcement Officers are offering free microchipping to all dog owners at two Country Park sites across South Somerset in preparation for a new legislation that is set to be introduced.

The Microchip of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 will require all dogs to be microchipped by 6th April 2016 or face a possible fine of £500.

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Members from SSDC’s Enforcement team will be at Yeovil Country Park on Thursday 17 March from 11am to 2pm. They will be located next to the Ninesprings Café, opposite Goldenstones Leisure Centre.

A second microchipping session will be held at Ham Hill Country Park on Thursday 22nd March from 11am to 2pm. The team will be located next to the Education Centre.

Rachael Whaites, Yeovil Country Park Ranger said, “With our Country Parks being very popular venues for dog walking, we are delighted that the Enforcement Team are offering this service from two of our sites”.

The Dog’s Trust have provided the District Council with microchips free of charge in an attempt to get as many dogs microchipped before 6 April 2016. Those owners who have failed to microchip their pets before this date could be guilty of a criminal offence and possibly face a fine of £500.

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The new legislation will require all dogs over eight weeks old to have a microchip implanted. Microchips are the size of a grain of rice and have a unique 15-digit code which is linked to the owners name and address.

Benefits of the new legislation include the ability to reunite dogs with their owners much more easily, should they go missing for any reason.

Councillor Carol Goodall, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health said, “Microchipping is a safe, effective and permanent way to link a dog and its keeper. To ensure that as many dog owners as possible comply with the new legislation, we are delighted to offer free events where microchipping can take place.

“A major role of an Enforcement Officer is to deal with the straying of dogs and work to reunite owners and lost pets – a task made much easier when a microchip is implanted. I hope residents take up the free microchipping offer from the Council”.

Name tags will also be sold at a cost of £4.00 at each event. Despite the introduction of micrcochipping to all dogs, it is still a requirement that all dogs wear a tag in a public place.