The government has turned its back on the nation’s pet owners by refusing to make the scanning of microchips compulsory.
In response to the #ScanMe petition being run by Vets Get Scanning, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said that “The Government does not consider it necessary therefore to require everyone who comes into contact with a dog to scan it in order to …………. establish whether the dog is lost or stolen.”
The astonishing statement comes on the back of DogLost’s figures for 2015 which show that some 17,000 lost and found dogs were registered with the organisation last year. Some of the 7,000 that were reunited were done so because their microchips had been scanned.
Said DogLost’s spokesperson, Nik Oakley “It is incomprehensible that the government should introduce compulsory microchips and not compel all vets, local authorities, rescues and government agencies to scan a stray animal.”
In the statement, Defra claims that compulsory chipping will mean that stray animals will be reunited with their owners much quicker, failing to understand that this can only happen if an animal is scanned.
Continued Nik Oakley ‘Defra continually refuse to listen or debate the issue, preferring to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that dog theft is not a serious growing problem or that somehow an animal will miraculously find its way home.”
“It is not good enough for Defra to rely on the few good vets who scan as a matter of course. It is no wonder that we have thousands of dogs who have never been reunited or who are reunited years and years later when they are finally scanned.”
It is a long-held belief by many animal charities that compulsory microchips are not being introduced in order to reunite missing pets but in response to controlling dangerous dogs.
DogLost will continue to campaign for compulsory scanning with its partners in the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance. The #ScanMe petition runs until 21 January.
The Government’s full response can be read here.