Dog owners across Bolsover District are being warned about walking their dogs without a microchip or a proper collar as they could face significant fines or even prison.
There has been some confusion with owners about whether dog tags are still required since the 2016 microchipping law came into force. The answer is: you need both.
In the UK it is the law to have your dog microchipped and wear an identification tag when in a public space. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £5,000.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 law for England and Scotland states that a dog must wear a collar with its owner’s name and address on it.
The law makes it a requirement that any dog ‘while in a highway or in a place of public resort’ must wear a collar tag that displays:
- Name of the owner (initial and surname)
- An up-to-date address of the owner (house number and postcode).
It is not a requirement to include a phone number, but this is recommended in case your dog gets lost.
Owners who fail to comply with the rules are in breach of an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981, which used to come under a fine capped ‘level 5’ which was previously capped at £5,000, but later changed in 2015 to become unlimited. Therefore, the maximum penalty on summary conviction will be up to six-month imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Deborah Watson said, “It is important that people are aware of this law and comply to it as the last thing we want is for them to face a hefty fine or even face time in prison.
“Having the correct identification such as this can help us reunite owners with lost or stray dogs a lot quicker and save any problems or unnecessary heartache.”