Dog owners in the Burnham-On-Sea area have been warned that from Wednesday 6th April it will be a legal requirement for their pets to be microchipped.

It is already a legal requirement that every dog shall wear a collar and ID tag while in a public place.

A Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman said: “From Wednesday it will be a legal requirement that all dogs by the time they are eight weeks of age are microchipped and registered with their keepers contact details.”

“All keepers, including breeders, must also ensure that a dog’s microchip contact details are kept up to date.”

“Key points that dog owners and breeders must be aware of include that the only exemption from the requirement to microchip a dog is where a vet has certified in writing that the dog is unfit to be microchipped.”

“Anyone breeding dogs will be responsible for microchipping their puppies before they sell or give them to new keepers. Breeders will be required to register their own details and these will be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.”

“If a dog is brought into England temporarily, for example when visiting family or friends and staying more than 30 days, it will need to be microchipped and registered on a database.”

The council says that a dog without a microchip which comes to the attention of the authorities may lead to the dog’s keeper being served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped within 21 days, and criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply.

Sedgemoor District Council says its dog wardens have been busy over the past couple of years microchipping hundreds of dogs for free in preparation for the requirement. Many animal charities such as the Dogs Trust and local veterinary practises have also been offering, and continue to offer, reduced fee or free microchipping and database contact details checks.

For more information on the requirements and a list of frequently asked questions please click here.