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Dog owners in England will have to microchip their animal from 2016 or face fines
Dog owners in England will have to microchip their animal from 2016 or face fines of up to £500 under new laws to be introduced designed to reduce strays and help reunite owners with stolen dogs.
According to government figures, more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, at a cost of £57million to the taxpayer and welfare charities. Ministers hope the change in the law will help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets and relieve some of the burden on animal charities and local authorities.
The change in the law will be effective from 6 April 2016. After that date any owner whose dog is found without a chip and can be traced will have a short period of time to have the dog microchipped.
Laws governing dog attacks will also be extended to cover private property, closing a loophole which has meant that dog owners whose animals have attacked people on private property are immune from prosecution (unless their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their land).
Free microchips, donated by the Dogs Trust, will be circulated to veterinary clinics, although it is unclear whether vets will charge for the service.
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