No prosecutions brought under new microchipping law

All dogs need to microchipped under new laws brough in last April

All dogs need to microchipped under new laws brough in last April

No one is yet to have been prosecuted by Wigan Council under new rules that mean dogs must be microchipped.

Figures have shown that of the 228 dogs taken in as strays by the local authority in the six months to August 2016, only 82 were microchipped despite it becoming law in April requiring all owners to ensure their dogs were chipped and their details up to date.

It is now an offence for dog owners not to have their dog microchipped so we would advise people to make sure their dog is chipped

Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s assistant director for environmental services

Of the 228, a total of 129, just over half, were returned to their original owners with Staffordshire Bull Terriers the breed most commonly taken in but this time at just over a fifth, 20.5 per cent, of the total.

One of the dogs brought in by the dog warden had to be put down.

The figures have been revealed by a freedom of information request and in its response, the council confirmed there was no time frame for keeping a dog for adoption and they would only put a dog down for three reasons.

They are if the dog is a banned breed, has serious aggressive and behavioural problems - and the dog was unable to be retrained and would be a danger to the general public - and that are suffering in the event of a terminal and painful condition.

Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s assistant director for environmental services, said: “The welfare of animals is a priority for the council and when dogs are seized every effort is made to reunite them with their owner or to rehome them.

“It is now an offence for dog owners not to have their dog microchipped so we would advise people to make sure their dog is chipped and that the details on the chip including name, address and telephone number are up-to-date.

“Having an up-to-date microchip means it is much easier for us to reunite people with their beloved lost pet.”

A total of 504 were taken in between April 2015 and March 2016 - leading to 35 having to be put down by vets.

Almost a quarter, 23 per cent of dogs taken in by the borough’s dog wardens were Staffordshire Bull Terriers - 118 of the 504 in total. A further 43 cross breed Staffordshire Bull Terriers were also picked up as strays.

Overall, 200 of the dogs - less than half - were returned to their original owners within a day or two but the majority of those remaining will have been rehomed.

Out of the total, just over a quarter, 141, of the dogs taken in were microchipped.

Wigan Council said when a dog is seized and it is not microchipped or the details are out-of-date the council and its contractor issue a 21 day notice for the dog owner to comply with the legislation or face prosecution.

So far no prosecutions on this issue have been made by Wigan Council.