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12/04/2012 Micro chips in puppies from 12 weeks

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It has now become law in Northern Ireland to have your dogs micro chipped. It is the first place in the UK for the law to be enforced. The law will mean that all puppies will currently need to be micro chipped at 12 weeks until the end of this year and from next year puppies will need to chipped from 8 weeks.

The hope is that the new law will make it easier to identify dogs and reduce the number of strays.

Announcing the new law, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said that the final provision in the Dogs (Amendment) Act required dogs to be microchipped in order to obtain a valid dog licence. She went on to say "This new requirement will put the north of Ireland at the forefront of dog control in these islands”.

At the same time the Dogs (Licensing and Identification) Regulations (NI) 2012 came into operation. This means that dogs held under a block licence must also be chipped as in the case of greyhounds.

Ms O’Neill said: "The Microchipping of dogs will assist council dog wardens to trace the owners of dangerous and out-of-control dogs more quickly and help reunite stray and stolen dogs with their owners. I understand that Dogs Trust has facilitated the microchipping of more than 54,000 dogs in the north in the past year.

The Dogs Trust is will be organising a ‘road show’ which will travel to various areas within Northern Ireland and will be offering dog owners the chance to have chips implanted on their animals.

"We wanted it to be very easy for owners to get their dogs chipped,” said Ronnie Milsop, Northern Ireland campaign director for the Trust, which has been calling for compulsory chipping.

Last year in Northern Ireland, 1,615 stray or abandoned dogs were destroyed and approximately one in six of the dogs in pounds.

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