A man has been hit with £600 in fines and legal costs after he refused to have his dog microchipped.
Wigan and Leigh magistrates heard that this was the first case of its kind brought by West Lancashire Borough Council.
New legislation came into force on April 6, 2016 which made it compulsory for dogs in England to be microchipped and for owners’ details to be kept up to date on the chip. Owners who fail to comply with the regulations can be fined up to £500.
And justices heard how Brett Clarkson’s dog Tyson had been collected by a council contractor while out straying in the Skelmersdale area in the summer of 2016. The cross-breed type dog was not microchipped when it was picked up.
When Clarkson, of Elswick, Skelmersdale, collected his pet from the contractor on August 20, the hearing was told that he refused an offer to have Tyson microchipped for a small charge. The authority served a notice on the owner giving him 21 days to get the dog chipped and provide proof to the town hall this had been done.
But Clarkson did not comply with this notice leading to the council taking legal action against him. Clarkson did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence.
He was fined £220, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £364.10 in costs.
In total Clarkson’s failure to microchip his dog has cost him £614.10 which must be paid within 28 days.
Microchipping is a failsafe way to ensure if a pet is lost it can be re-united with its owner.
Many vets and pet shops provide this at a small charge.
West Lancs Council has teamed up with the Dogs Trust to offer free microchipping for dogs at Greenhill Community Hub, Beech Close, Skelmersdale, on Tuesday, March 7, between 11am and 3pm.
This will be on a first come, first served basis and the last dog will be chipped at 3pm. These events are very popular so there may be long queues.
Coun Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for health and community safety, said: “This prosecution by the council shows its commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership and welfare within the borough.
“I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had their dog microchipped to take advantage of the free microchipping event on March 7.
“Dog owners should also note it is a legal requirement for dogs in England to wear an identity disc at all times when in a public place.”