All dogs in England and Scotland will have to be microchipped as part of Government plans to reduce numbers of lost and stolen dogs and promote responsible dog ownership.
Owners of dogs that have not been microchipped face a £500 fine if they do not have their pet chipped - all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are now legally required to be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old.
It is thought that thousands of dog owners have still to comply with the new rule - according to government estimates, as many as one million animals, around one in eight are still to be chipped.
Similar legislation was introduced in Wales in March 2015 and Northern Ireland made microchipping dogs compulsory in 2012, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said has said that the legislation has seen a decrease in the number of lost, stray, and abandoned dogs.
A dog microchip is around the size of a grain of rice, and is inserted under the loose skin on the back of the animal’s neck, giving it a unique 15-digit identity code.
Nishi Jani, clinic director at White Cross Vets in Northampton, said: “Microchipping is by far the most effective reunification tool for lost pets and especially because it typically costs less than £20 and lasts a lifetime.”