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Scottish Government to consult on compulsory microchipping of dogs

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THE Scottish Government intends to seek views on the compulsory microchipping of dogs before the end of this year, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, announced during the BVA's annual Scottish dinner in Edinburgh last week.

Mr Lochhead was responding to a comment made by the BVA President, Peter Harlech Jones, in his speech at the dinner, held in the parliament building in Holyrood on June 18. Having commended Scotland's approach to dog control and its move away from breed-specific legislation, Mr Jones pointed out that ‘while Scotland has led the way on dog control, the same cannot be said for dog microchipping, where Northern Ireland, Wales and England will all have compulsory systems in place by April 2016’. He called on the Scottish Government to look again at the benefits of a compulsory system in Scotland.

Also speaking at the dinner, Mr Lochhead said that the Scottish Government recognised the benefits of microchipping in helping to reunite dogs with their owners, and recommended it as best practice in its welfare code for dogs. Announcing the government's intention to consult on a system of compulsory microchipping later this year, he said that he would particularly be seeking views on enforcement and impact. ‘I will also be watching developments elsewhere in the UK with keen interest and considering what is best for Scotland before I make a decision,’ he said.

Richard Lochhead, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, speaking at the BVA's Scottish dinner in Edinburgh on June 18

The BVA's annual dinners, held in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each year, aim to bring issues of current interest to the veterinary profession to the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders. Another issue raised by Mr Jones in his speech …

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