Microchipping Pups: A Mandate under the Law
A microchip is a small coil enclosed in a casing which is non-bio-reactive and hence biologically safe for the pet. The casing is made up of a glass cylinder and is as small as a grain of rice. The chip is activated only when a microchip scanner is waved above it. Once activated, the chip transmits the information stored inside it into the software.
At the time of manufacture, the chip is coded with a unique number which, after the sale of the pet is registered in a central database. It is a 2 step process wherein which chip is inserted in the collarbone of the pet and then the unique identification number is registered along with all the relevant details about the owner and the pet. The information includes the owner’s contact details, home address, breed of the pet etc.
Law regarding Microchips
As per The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2017, no puppy can be sold without a microchip, yet only one sale out of hundreds is done as per the rules.
Law for the Pet Shops
The Pet Shop rules mandate that every pet shop should have a functional microchip reader within its premises and every puppy on sale should be microchipped by a veterinarian registered under the provisions of Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984.
Law for the Breeders
The Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules make it mandatory for every breeder to provide a sale receipt to every person buying a pup/dog and copy of that receipt along with the microchip number of the pup/dog with all the relevant details such as name, address and phone number of the purchaser are to be retained with the breeder.
The rules also make it mandatory for the breeder to maintain the records of microchip numbers of all the dogs housed in the establishment along with the microchip numbers of their parents (both father and mother).
Furthermore, it is mandatory to maintain the microchip record of the male dog, every female-dog is mated with.
If abided by, this rule makes it extremely easy for the buyer to track the parentage of the puppy along with the history of the diseases running in the pedigree.
Microchip Details for Registration Certificate
The microchip numbers of all the dogs acquired, their mates, and their litters are to be provided to the State Animal Welfare Board in Form 1 through which the registration or renewal of registration is applied by the breeder.
Along with the above-stated information, the microchip number of all the dogs and pups died, the reasons for their death and the post mortem report is also to be provided with the form.
The Form also requires the breeder to fill in all the details of the sales including the microchip number of the puppies and dogs sold along with the relevant information such as name and address of the purchaser.
Identification of Dogs through Microchips
The rules have made it mandatory for every breeder to ensure the identification of all the dogs including the ones kept for breeding and the pups to be performed by a registered veterinarian through microchipping.
Kindly find the relevant rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 hereinbelow:-
Advantages of Microchipping Pets
Chances of Reunion
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a study of 7,700 strays which stated that microchipped dogs got reunited with their owners 52.5% of the time while ones without microchips were reunited only 21.9% of the time.
Legally, every pup sold after the commencement of the Pet Shop rules as well as the Dog Breeding and Marketing rules should be microchipped but unfortunately, in practice, hardly any pet shop owner, breeder or pet owner pays attention to it, registered or not. Hence, it is highly recommended to insist on getting the pup microchipped from the breeder or the pet shop owner before buying it. Although microchipping has remained an underrated technique of pet identification due to the overhead expenses incurred by the breeder and pet shop owners, the benefits offered by it certainly overshadow the cost.
Illegal Dog Trafficking
There has been a considerable rise in dog trafficking and theft during the past few years. Usually, a dog acquired through illegal means is bred and exploited for financial gains. Microchipping can be one of the most effective ways to curb that. Once the dog passes the breeding age, it is usually abandoned on the roads and ends up in the streets or already overcrowded shelters. Chances of discovering the theft, either by the staff at the shelters or by the concerned authorities taking care of stray dogs become profoundly high if the pet has a microchip embedded in it with all the details of the owner. Also, if registered with a central database, anyone with the microchip reader can access the details of the owner. Further, it will be convenient for the State Animal Welfare Boards to regulate the sale and purchase of dogs throughout the country.
Know more about the Duties and Obligations of Pet Shop Owners.