From January 1, changes to dog licensing will make microchipping the sole method of identification of dogs.
The coloured licence tags issued by Councils will be discontinued, it was announced last week by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill as she introduced the Dogs (Licensing and Identification) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.
Minister O’Neill said: “Microchipping of your dog is a compulsory part of dog licensing and following consultation with council chief executives, it was agreed to discontinue with the coloured tag, issued with a dog licence or upon licence renewal. Dog owners must still ensure that their name and address is inscribed on the dog’s collar or on a plate or badge attached to it. This requirement remains in place.”
The new regulations also require dog owners to ensure that their contact information on the microchip databases is kept up to date, for example when the dog owner changes address or telephone number.
The Minister added: “These measures are to ensure responsible dog ownership. To facilitate the updating of microchip details requirement, I am delighted to announce that Dogs Trust, in conjunction with local councils, will be launching a campaign to assist dog owners here to update their contact details on microchip databases for free. Dates and venues will be advertised in the local media.”