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Mixed response to new dog-chipping legislation in East Lancashire
PLANS to bring in compulsory micro-chipping for dogs has received a mixed reaction in East Lancashire.
The Government said the idea would help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets as well as improving the welfare of dogs.
Ministers also announced plans to extend legal protection over dog attacks to cover incidents on private property.
In East Lancashire, MPs welcomed the news but the boss of a stray dogs charity said it was ‘unfair’ on responsible dog owners.
Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry, who owns a poodle called Lola, said he was all in favour of the move.
He said: “It is a massively important issue and people must take responsibility for their dogs.
“You can get your dog micro-chipped for just £10 now.
“To be blunt, the cost of micro-chipping is about the same as what it costs to feed a dog for a week.
“So if people say they can’t afford the chip then they can’t afford to feed their dog and shouldn’t have one.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I warmly welcome the move, it is a step in the right direction.
“For too long, responsible dog owners have been criticised because of the acts of the minority.”
Steve Wood, of Hyndburn Stray Dogs In Need, said he had some concerns about the plans.
He said: “In theory micro-chipping is fantastic. You pick up a stray dog, scan it and the details of the owners appear and they can be reunited.
“But 90 per cent of the time, you ring the number that comes up and they will say, ‘oh, we sold the dog’.
“The majority of stray dogs are not kept by responsible people.
“So to make law-abiding people micro-chip their dog when they don’t want to is unfair in my opinion.
“A lot of people, especially those who show dogs, don’t want to stick a big needle into their pets.”
Announcing the move, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “It is ludicrous that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down.
“I am determined to put an end to this and ease the pressure on charities and councils to find new homes for these dogs.
“Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it is stolen.”