Should my dog be microchipped? Does the microchip replace a dog licence?
Answer (April 2016)
Under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015, all dogs born after 1 June 2015 must be microchipped and registered on an authorised database by the time they are 12 weeks old, or if they leave the property on which they were born before the age of 12 weeks.
The microchip does not replace the licence. You will still need to have a licence for your dog. Dog licences are issued by your local authority.
If your dog was born after 1 June 2015 and is now over 12 weeks old, it should already have been microchipped and registered. Since 31 March 2016, the Regulations apply to all dogs over 12 weeks old. Even if your dog has already been microchipped (for a pet passport, for example) it needs to be registered on an authorised database as well.
The microchip can only be implanted by a vet, a veterinary nurse or a person who has been trained by one of the authorised databases. The microchip contains a unique 15-digit number. When you register with an authorised database, this number is recorded on it, along with your name and address details. Microchipping and registering means that, if your dog goes missing and is found, you can be identified as its owner and be reunited with it.
If you plan to buy a new dog at any stage, you should check that it has been microchipped and registered. The seller has to give you the dog’s certificate of registration and you should forward it to the relevant database to get the details updated. If you move house, you will need to update your contact details on the database.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has published a list of authorised databases, along with a set of Frequently Asked Questions, on agriculture.gov.ie.
Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.
Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.