Sinn Féin’s local Agriculture spokesperson Councillor Brenda Chivers has welcomed the announcement by her party colleague Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA, of powers to introduce the compulsory micro chipping of dogs from 9 April 2012.
“While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and will have no opposition to any new powers there are unfortunately those who continue to abuse the system and do not adequately look after their dogs,” she said. “Unfortunately on a regular basis we see news of dog attacks on children or other people’s dogs. There is a well known list of dangerous dogs but the reality is any dog can be a dangerous dog if it is not controlled, trained properly or kept under adequate supervision by the owner.”
The announcement by Minister Michelle O’Neill that there will be compulsory micro chipping of dogs from 9 April 2012 will hopefully address many of those concerns, she said.
“These new provisions require dog owners to microchip their dogs before they obtain a new dog licence or block licence on or after the 9 April 2012. Micro chipping of dogs will assist Council dog wardens to trace the owners of dangerous and out of control dogs more quickly and help reunite stray and stolen dogs with their owners. I am grateful to the Councils and the Dogs Trust for their invaluable work in promoting micro chipping. I understand that the Dogs Trust has facilitated the micro chipping of over 54,000 dogs in the north in the past year. Micro chipping is an essential part of dog control and I would encourage all dog owners to ensure that their details are kept up to date on the relevant microchip database.”
“In the regulations there will be a short exemption until 1 January 2013 for thoroughbred greyhounds registered with the Irish Coursing Club. This will allow time for Irish Coursing Club to enhance their systems to facilitate the recording of microchip numbers. From the 9 April 2012 the age at which pups held under a block licence will have to be micro chipped is 12 weeks. From 1 January 2013 the age at which pups held under a block licence will have to be micro chipped will reduce to eight weeks providing a consistent approach across Ireland to the micro chipping of pups.”