Ken Skates AM with a Japanese Akita Inu puppy at the Chip it, Check it launch.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates is calling on owners to get their dogs microchipped – and help reduce the number of pets put down in Wales.
Labour Assembly Member Mr Skates is backing the Kennel Club’s ‘Chip it, Check it’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of microchipping before it becomes compulsory in March 2015.
Mr Skates, a dog owner himself, showed his support at a National Microchipping Month event in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday (June 17) – and warned that more than 8,000 canines are put down every year in the UK because their owners cannot be traced.
He said: “The Kennel Club has said that by microchipping dogs and keeping personal details up to date, thousands of otherwise doomed pets could be identified and reunited with their owners instead of facing being put down in the pound.
“Regulations which I supported will place a legal requirement on owners to have their dogs microchipped and registered on a database. Owners will also be expected to be responsible for ensuring the information is kept up to date in order to have the best chance of reuniting them with their pet.
“National Microchipping Month is an ideal occasion to highlight the many benefits of microchipping, and Campaigns like ‘Chip it, Check it’ serve as a vital reminder to owners.”
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The introduction of a requirement to permanently identify a dog through compulsory microchipping will go a long way towards improving the current situation surrounding stray dogs by reducing the need for unidentified lost dogs to be rehomed or euthanised. The Kennel Club views regulation as a positive step forward for responsible dog ownership and thanks Ken for his support in promoting dog welfare.”
Information produced by the Microchipping Alliance – which comprises animal welfare charities and veterinary and dog membership organisations – found that over 100,000 dogs either stray or are lost or stolen each year, with many having to be kept in kennels before being re-homed. Local authorities and dog welfare charities UK-wide spend some £33m a year on kennelling costs.
The Kennel Club has campaigned as part of the Microchipping Alliance to make permanent identification compulsory for all dogs since 2009.
National Microchipping Month runs throughout June. For more information go to www.nationalmicrochippingmonth.org.uk.