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Microchipping to form part of council tenancy agreement

A GREATER London council has celebrated the official launch of its ground-breaking dog microchipping initiative at a Wandsworth housing estate.

Residents, councillors and representatives of the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home were present to celebrate the announcement and show their continued support for the council’s project.

The scheme means that all Wandsworth council tenants and leaseholders must get their dogs chipped as part of their tenancy agreement. The new rules come into force from 5th January 2009.
Cllr Martin D. Johnson, cabinet member for housing, explained that the proposal has proved very popular with residents and will make it easier for the town hall to take action against owners that allow their dogs to become a nuisance.

‘We are delighted this innovative plan has now been officially approved. Our dog control unit and housing department will be in a much better position to tackle irresponsible dog owners on our housing estates.

‘We expect other councils and housing associations to follow Wandsworth’s lead and join us in promoting animal welfare and clamping down on this type of anti-social behaviour,’ said Cllr Johnson.

Mark Callis, head of Wandsworth’s dog control unit said that the process of microchipping a dog was quick and absolutely painless. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is painlessly inserted into the muscle between the dog’s shoulder blades. The whole procedure takes just a few seconds.
There are a wide range of benefits for dog owners whose pets are chipped. If a dog is lost or stolen then its owners can easily be traced if it has been chipped.

The official launch of the microchipping scheme coincides with the unveiling of a Parliamentary private members bill that would extend town hall powers in tackling dangerous dogs. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Redesdale is proposing the bill in the House of Lords. Wandsworth welcomes the bill and is urging ministers to support it.

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