England: All Dogs in England Must Be RFID-implanted by 2016

England-dogs-implant-chip-RFID-blogAll dogs in England will be required to be microchipped from April 2016, for identification purposes. Owners who fail to meet the requirement could be fined up to £500 (roughly $780). In the UK, it is very common to “chip” pets, which is also recommended by most veterinarians. England’s move follows after that of Northern Ireland last year.

The grain-of-rice-sized RFID chip is inserted between the shoulder blades with a large syringe, and usually contains a 15-digit code comprised of a 3-digit country identifier and a 12-digit serial number unique to the animal.

This information is then stored in a centralized database that also allows owners to include their contract information and address. Whenever a lost animal is found, it is scanned in an attempt to reunite it with its owner.

The law won’t apply to cats just yet, for they’re less likely to stray far from home as they’re more territorial animals than dogs.

The law change won’t affect canine visitors to England, as any animal entering the UK must already be chipped and have proof of extensive vaccinations, or will be refused entry. The UK’s strict immigration laws concerning animal identification and vaccination are largely to do with rabies. The disease is zoonotic, which means it can be passed between animals and humans, and was eradicated from the country in the early 20th century. It remains prevalent in continental Europe, North America, and many other parts of the world, and the UK’s participation in the “pet passport” scheme helps prevent it from returning to British shores.