Defra unveils central microchip access plan

3rd April 2024
Industry News

Veterinary and welfare sector leaders have welcomed plans to make it easier for professionals to access animals’ microchip records.

The move is one of a series of measures unveiled by Defra on 29 March, which the department believes will make it easier and faster to reunite stolen pets with their owners.

Under the plans, a new central portal will be developed for approved users, including vets, police and local authority staff, to search for microchip records, instead of contacting multiple databases separately.

Transfer of ownership

The measures will also require database operators to provide a field that indicates whether a pet has been reported as missing and give current keepers 28 days to a transfer of ownership.

BVA president Anna Judson said flaws in the present system had been a “source of ongoing frustration” for veterinary professionals.

She added: “These new measures are a positive step forwards and the new portal should help vet teams to check multiple databases quickly, identify and reunite cats and dogs with their owners and provide prompt treatment where needed.”

‘Important step’

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “Microchipping our pets is so important and provides reassurance and security, should they go missing, that they’ll be able to be identified and returned home quickly.

“A centralised portal with more accurate records will ensure that animals who end up with vets, local authorities and charities, like the RSPCA, can be traced back to their owners as quickly as possible, minimising the stress and anxiety they may feel being away from everything they know.”

Meanwhile, Battersea head of policy Michael Webb said the measures were an important step forward before new legal requirements for the microchipping of cats in England come into force in June.

He said: “It is vital that the country’s microchipping system is as effective and robust as possible and we will continue to work with Defra and other organisations to ensure that this is the case.”


Credit to:  Defra unveils central microchip access plan (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  Defra unveils central microchip access plan [online]

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