A Leeds resident, who failed to ensure that their dog’s microchip details were correct despite several warnings, has become the first person in the city to be fined for the offence.
Mr Marius Grecu of Talbot Avenue was ordered to pay in total £862 (£91 fine, a surcharge of £30, and costs to the council of £741) after failing to comply with new legislation which requires that the information stored on a nationwide dog microchip database is kept fully up-to-date.
Action was taken by Leeds City Council after a warden was informed that a dog was wondering unattended in the Talbot Avenue area. On being unable to trace the dog, the warden was informed that a concerned member of the public had brought the animal to a local vet. It was here that the warden discovered the information contained on the dog’s microchip relating to the home address was not correct.
Once contact was made with Mr Grecu, he was informed that further action would be taken if his dog’s microchip details were not updated within a 28-day period or if their pet was found by a warden in the future to be outside in public areas unsupervised.
Following failure to take appropriate action on the updating of the microchip information in the permitted timescale, the council was left with no choice but to take action through the courts against Mr Grecu.
The microchipping of dogs is a fast, easy and effective way of reuniting pets with their owners as soon as possible if they are lost. All dogs over eight weeks old are required by law to be microchipped. Failure to do so could result in a fine or prosecution.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for environment and sustainability said:
“Unfortunately we are still picking up dogs who are not microchipped or whose details are not up to date, which is extending the time and also putting at risk the chance of us being able to reunite them with their owners. We cannot stress enough therefore how much it is in your and your dog’s interest to have them microchipped and to ensure that details on the microchip database are kept up-to-date.
“When in this particular case, our warden came across a dog that was brought to a local vet after being reported as wandering the streets unsupervised, they found that while the dog was microchipped, important details on the microchip database were not correct. We subsequently gave the owner sufficient time to rectify the situation when contact was made, and his failure to do so, meant there was little option but for the council to take steps through the courts to secure a first prosecution in Leeds for this particular offence.
“The process to both microchip your dog and update any microchip information is a very simple one, and there is simply no excuse to ensure it does not take place. Those who fail to do either in the necessary timescales can be assured we will use all the tools at our disposal to take further action.”
All over eight weeks old dogs must now be microchipped.
The only exclusions are dogs that are certified by a vet to be a working dog or where a vet provides a certificate for the duration of a dog’s illness stating that it cannot be chipped for health reasons.
Details that have to be registered include:
- Full name and address of keeper, and telephone number(s)
- Dogs name, sex, breed (or description), colour, date of birth (or accurate estimate)
- License details for breeders if the breeder is also the dogs’ keeper. Also need to state which local authority the breeder is licensed by.
If the microchip database doesn’t hold this information, or the information isn’t up to date, the dog may be regarded as not microchipped and subject to enforcement.
No keeper may transfer a dog to a new keeper until it has been properly microchipped.
Where a dog is transferred to a new keeper, the new keeper must record their full name, address, telephone number and change of dogs name (if applicable) with the database.