11 December 2015
By Tom Collins
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD (elected in Cork South Central), reminded dog owners today that, under the new Microchipping regulations which were introduced earlier this year, they are now legally obliged to microchip all pups. He also explained that, from 31 March 2016, all dogs over 12 weeks of age must be microchipped and registered on an approved database.
Minister Coveney pointed out that these regulations impose new obligations on both buyers and sellers. Emphasising this point, he said “I understand this is a significant change in the way people are accustomed to buying and dealing in animals. However, these new rules are vital to enable early reunification of dogs with owners and to protect against sheep worrying”. He also mentioned that his Department has made significant funds available, through animal welfare groups, to subsidise microchipping the dogs of those on Social Welfare and OAPs.
Minister Coveney also reminded parents contemplating the purchase of a dog as a pet for Christmas to give careful consideration to the future care of the animal. On this issue the Minister said: “A number of animal welfare groups have recommended that people do not buy puppies as Christmas presents at all. However, if you are going to do so, you need to understand there are new legal regulations which require all pups under twelve weeks to, not only be microchipped, but to have the microchip registered with the current owner’s name and contact details on an authorised database”.
The Minister noted that there are currently four authorised databases: Animark, Fido, The Irish Coursing Club and The Irish Kennel Club. An Authorised database must provide a certificate which indicates the owner and provides a form for changes of ownership to be registered. Buyers and sellers are also required to indicate that they have verified the identity of the person they are dealing with. Commenting on this, the Minister said “If details are not correctly kept up to date you will remain legally responsible for a dog you may have sold. This will encourage people to ensure registered details are up to date. ”
Concluding, Minister Coveney pointed out “A reputable dog breeder will have ensured that pups they sell are correctly microchipped and vaccinated and have the right paperwork. As well as providing security to owners that their new dog can be quickly returned if it strays, these procedures provide reassurance that the dog has probably being raised in proper conditions. There is no such reassurance where dogs are bought illegally and of unknown provenance.”