Sunday, 27 September 2009

AM backs dog chipping scheme as stray numbers soar

Wrexham's AM, Lesley Griffiths was at the head of the queue when the 'chip van' called on the National Assembly for Wales this week in Cardiff Bay.

The Dogs Trust 'chip-van' rolled up in Cardiff Bay to persuade Assembly Members to support the introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs in Wales.

Over 12,000 stray dogs were collected in Wales in the last year, an increase of 26% from the previous year. Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity believes the most effective and humane way of reducing stray dog numbers in the long-term is through microchipping, alongside education and neutering.

The introduction of a compulsory microchipping scheme would:

* enable lost or straying dogs to be reunited promptly with their owners

* permanently identify a dog which is effective at all times and is virtually impossible to alter and remove which is a clear advantage for dogs that are stolen

* enable clear identification of the dog’s owner when prosecution is being considered for dog thieves and antisocial behaviour

* significantly impact on the workload of all those dealing with stray Dogs

* reduce kennelling costs and save time

* allow puppies bred on puppy farms to be traced to their source

* significantly increase the welfare of racing greyhounds as they could be traced back to their owners whilst they are racing and once they retire

Recent research carried out by Dogs Trust shows that 94% of local authorities and 93% of vets are in favour of compulsory microchipping.

The Dogs Trust 'Chip Van' began its countrywide tour back in July, and has been travelling the length and breadth of the country calling on all dog owners, local authorities, vets and politicians to make a change and insist that all dogs should be microchipped in order to increase the number of stray dogs reunited with their owners.

In support of the scheme, Lesley Griffiths AM said:
"I am convinced that a compulsory microchipping scheme would bring great benefits to both dogs and owners. The rise in the number of stray dogs in Wales alone, is sufficient reason for a scheme to be introduced here.

"There is a growing body of opinion - which I support - that believes the permanent identification of dogs will not only reduce the number of strays on our streets but would also deter activity amongst dog thieves."


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