All dogs in England to get microchips by 2016

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2013 at 8:22 am •  Published: February 6, 2013
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Horse owners have had to chip their animals since 2009, a spokeswoman for the Environment Department said Wednesday. The chips will remain optional for cats — because dogs are out in public more often than their feline counterparts, a spokeswoman said.

Different parts of the United Kingdom have different rules governing pets: The chips are compulsory in Northern Ireland; Wales is considering such a move; Scotland has no such rule.

Inserting chips into animals' necks is a technique used worldwide to keep track both of domestic animals and livestock, although rules vary according to country. German shepherds can bound across Berlin chip-free, but Chihuahuas in Milan and Portuguese water dogs in Lisbon can't be caught without. In some parts of Spain, cats need chips too.

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Alan Clendenning in Madrid, Victor Simpson in Rome, and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.

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Online:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' site on microchips: http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/general/microchipping

Raphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphae.li/twitter