Vet practices navigating compulsory canine microchipping legislation can rely on new guidelines produced by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).
The BSAVA has championed permanent identification and registration of all dogs and will support vets through the changes that come into force on April 6.
The 18-page guide provides vet practices with up-to-date information on all aspects of microchipping, including the differing implications of the legislation across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It explains exemption certificates that veterinary surgeons may be asked to sign, provides clarity on roles and responsibilities and more details on adverse event reporting, which will become a legal requirement under the new rules.
It also contains advice on when it is required or advisable to scan a dog in order to read the microchip and links to the updated RCVS guidance on microchips, microchipping and animals without microchips.
The guide has been accepted by the VMD and is supported by the RCVS.
The legislation is aimed at improving animal welfare, promoting responsible ownership and tackling the illegal puppy trade. It is also hoped compulsory microchipping will improve collection of data on inherited diseases and disease outbreaks.
BSAVA President Tricia Colville welcomed the legislation and said the guide was a great way to support vet practices through the changes.
“The BSAVA supports the permanent identification and registration of all dogs and cats, and other companion animals as appropriate, since the ability to individually identify an animal and trace the owner has the potential to improve animal welfare,” she said.
“Responsible pet ownership is at the core of the new legislation so as a profession we need to be clear on our responsibilities and do all we can to inform pet owners. We acknowledge that it may take time for the profession to adapt to the changes but this guide brings clarity and will prove helpful to vet practices across the UK.”
The guide is available to view here >
The BSAVA is inviting members to report any problems they encounter to the BSAVA’s Scientific Policy Officer Sally Everitt - firstname.lastname@example.org. It plans a further consultation at the end of the year to discover how the legislation enforcement has been received.