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BVA and BSAVA reply to microchip call

Issue: 02/04/2021

A joint statement has been issued by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) following a letter OUR DOGS received calling for vets to scan microchips.
Sharon Jarvis, founder of the Kennel Club Fight for Your Rights Group, said in her letter, ‘New owners of the stolen dogs are taking their new pet into a Veterinary Surgery just for a quick check over, the vet will scan the dog for a chip, if a chip is present nothing more is done, no questions asked.
‘Why aren’t Veterinary Surgeons and dog rescues checking the microchips database to see if it has been stolen. Surely, it would make sense for anyone in rescue or a Veterinary Surgery to quickly access an online national database for all microchip numbers and stolen records, rather than the 10 or so individual microchip companies we currently have. Which from past experience can be a minefield.
‘We need the checking for Microchips and accessing a website mandatory. Anyone that comes into contact with a new dog or stray it must be scanned for a chip and double checked via a database to make sure it isn’t flagged up as stolen.’
In their joint statement the BVA and BSAVA said, ‘BVA and BSAVA recently strengthened their joint position on microchipping which recommends regular scanning in a range of scenarios. This includes national database checks on presentation of stray animals or other animals who are new to the practice, to aid reunification of a pet with their owner and help with identifying if a dog has been stolen.
‘Unfortunately the current microchipping database system is a huge barrier to successful reunification of pets. There are 14 national microchipping databases which do not always communicate with each other. To add to the complexity, it’s also possible for pets to be registered on multiple databases. To overcome these difficulties, we are calling on the Government to have a single point of entry to make it practical for vets to find microchip details on a database after scanning a pet.
‘We’d also urge owners to always remember to keep their details up to date on microchipping databases, for example if they change phone number or move away. Out of date details is the most common barrier that vets face when trying to reunite dogs with their owners.’
A petition was launched calling for a single microchip database and to make the scanning of dogs mandatory for vets.
There was a consultation launched by the government into the issue last December which closed in February. No findings have yet been published.
To view the petition go to – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/551556.


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