Submitted by Steve on 14:41, 14th Jun, 2015 | 0

At the GSPCA we help thousands of lost and found animals in Guernsey every year and we would like to know your views in relation to compulsory microchipping of pets in Guernsey.

In the UK many dog owners will be unprepared for new legislation which makes it compulsory to microchip their pets from April 2016.

Online retailer MedicAnimal has taken a straw poll of animal rescues and believes that over 3.5 million dogs still have to be microchipped before the deadline – or around 360,000 each month. A further 2.7 million dog owners could be prosecuted for failing to keep their contact details up to date.

The new law comes into place from 6th April 2016 in England and spring 2016 in Scotland and Wales, requiring that dogs are chipped and owners keep their contact details up to date.

The animal shelters and rescues that MedicAnimal spoke to claimed that about half of the animals that could be identified by their chip could not be quickly reunited with their owners as so many had not taken this simple step to ensure they could be contacted.

Saying this those that are chipped with their details up to date are often quickly reunited with their owners preventing the rescues from filling with pets with unknown owners.

In Guernsey at the GSPCA only 45% of stray dog and cats found are microchipped and far less with collars and tags.

MedicAnimal founder and vet, Andrew Bucher says that caring pet owners could significantly reduce the burden on animal charities by having their pet microchipped. “Chipped pets can quickly be reunited with their owners as long as the contact details are correct but those that are not are rarely reunited and in fact place a tremendous strain on the resources of animal charities.”

“Shelters told us that it was quite common for people to present cats at shelters as ‘stray’ when in fact they are not."

"We heard of one case where a chance in a million visual identification of a cat on a charity website resulted in him being reunited with his owners 8 years after going missing – at 11 years old he had lived more years away from his owners than with them."

"While it’s great that he was returned home, he required extensive treatment for a sore mouth and had clearly suffered.”

He continued: “Not knowing what has happened to your missing pet is a dreadful situation for any pet owner and we are reminding everyone to not just chip their pets but to keep their contact details up to date too."

"There are clearly millions of people set to break the law by spring next year and our plea to them is to please think about acting now to give vets and implanters time to chip and register their pets.”

While the law does not currently require cats to be microchipped in the UK, it is estimated that over 5 million cats remain unchipped.

In the UK foals and horses born since 1st August 2009 need to be microchipped with a unique number that is matched to the owner's contact details, as well as getting a passport.

In Guernsey the GSPCA help over 200 stray dogs that either arrive or are reunited with their owners through the help of the public or from the Shelter and we help well over 500 stray and road traffic accident cats every year.

As well as this at the GSPCA we help stray horses that have escaped from fields and over 100 stray rabbits every year at the Animal Shelter in St Andrews.

At present the law in Guernsey does not require that a dog, cat, rabbit or horse is microchipped which causes animal charities and finders of stray animals a challenge reuniting them with their owners quickly.

Many of the animals microchipped that arrive as strays at the GSPCA also find themselves in our care longer than needs be due to owners not updating their details such as their phone number or address.

The new Animal Welfare Ordinance 2012 made huge steps in improving animal welfare legislation in Guernsey but this does not include compulsory identification of pets.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "At the GSPCA we help stray animals every day and it can be frustrating for the team when we can't quickly reunite them."

"With the new legislation in the UK for compulsory microchipping coming into place next year for dogs, at the GSPCA we would like to know the public's view on whether it is felt in Guernsey to help reunite lost pets quickly should we have compulsory chipping?"

"We would like to ask the question not just for stray dogs, but also for horses, cats and rabbits as every year we help thousands of stray pets with dogs, cats and rabbits being the highest numbers and horses being the most complicated to contain and track an owner."

"In the UK it is already compulsory for the microchipping of horses, but when our ambulance is called out in the middle of the night to a stray horse with no microchip or tag it can cause many challenges."

"At the GSPCA we normally microchip dogs, cats and rabbits for just £4.99, but as it is National Microchip Month we are implanting and registering them for just £3..99."

"If you would like your pet chipped or need details on how to update your pets microchip details please call 257261 or pop into the GSPCA in St Andrews."

"At the GSPCA we would love the views of all pet and non pet owners on whether in Guernsey should we have compulsory microchipping for pets."

"We would like to thank in advance everyone that takes the time to complete this very short survey."

To see a link on Guernsey animal legislation please click here.

For a link to the survey please click here or see below.

Create your own user feedback survey

Previous microchip stories - Statistics from Petlog show that Guernsey has more cats than any other area in the UK - 25th February, 2015 

WHAT IS A MICROCHIP?

The standard microchip is 12mm long and 2mm in diameter and is approximately the size of a grain of rice, which is then implanted just under the skin and between the shoulder blades of your pet.

It will have its own unique bar code number, and this, with your pet’s details and your details will be registered for life on a National Pet Identification database.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PET GOES MISSING?

If your pet goes missing and is then picked up as a stray by the GSPCA, it will be scanned and your pet’s unique number will be displayed.

The next step would be contacting the National Pet Identification database and the microchip number will confirm your address, then you and your pet will quickly be reunited.

WHEN AND WHERE CAN I GET MY PET CHIPPED?

The GSPCA adopted the microchip system over 15 years ago and within that time has microchipped thousands of pets.

To make an appointment or for more information please contact the Animal Shelter on 01481 257261

So remember, a microchip fitted now will give protection for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IS YOUR PET INSURED?

The GSPCA and Rossborough have recently launched a new Pet Insurance. When faced with vet fees you often have to pay very large amounts.  Pet Insurance can be a great way to help you though these difficult time. To find out more and get a quote please click here.

Did you know the GSPCA microchip hedgehogs before they are released?  This helps if they are brought back to the Shelter as we can easily identify them and we can also see their medical history.

To see the GSPCA page on microchipping please click here.

To see Petlogs page on National Microchipping Month please click here.

To see the Avid Microchipping website please click here.

To see the Anibase Microchipping page please click here.

For lost and found advice please click here.

To donate towards the many animals in our care, you can do so by:

Calling: 01481 257261

By post or popping in the Shelter: GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

Our Just Giving Page by clicking here.

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If you would like to know more please contact the GSPCA on 01481 257261 or email stevejbyrne@gspca.org.gg

A very old thin sick stray cat found on the Bridge now at the GSPCAhttp://www.gspca.org.gg/blog/very-old-thin-sick-stray-cat-found-bridge-now-gspca

Posted by GSPCA on Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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