National Dog Warden Association (NDWA)
33
years
1984 - 2017

THANK YOU FOR NOTHING DEFRA!

Tue, 17 May 2016

The total lack of guidance from DEFRA in regard to the compulsory microchipping of dogs in England has been a major contribution towards an absolutely shambolic approach to the implementation of ensuring compliance from the keepers of dogs whether the dog needs a microchip or an already implanted dog has up to date information.

Due to a lack of guidance there is a chaotic situation in England that has the opening advice message on one database apologising for the unprecedented number of calls they are dealing with due to newly introduced regulations. The databases and the 'enforcers' also known as local authorities have had at least three years notice of the start date for compulsory microchipping in England.

A lack of planning resulted in a last minute rush to get dogs implanted before Wednesday 6th April 2016 with a resultant backlog of registration forms that implanters who do not upload themselves sent off to the relevant database. I personally know of local authorities who do not upload the details sending in batches of 370, 400 and 500 registration forms which when multiplied across England and with their similar regulations, Scotland and Wales that is going to cause one giant in-tray at the relevant database.

Those implanters who actually upload the details themselves fared little better during the first couple of weeks from the start day as databases were unable to cope and one actually crashed thus making 'on-line' checks of microchips impossible. The telephone method was also disrupted with an across board failure of calls not being answered up to holding for over 10 minutes before a harrassed operative advised that it was all because of the 'new regulations'that everyone had three years notice of!

The lack of information was problematic insofar as not only could microchip details not be uploaded, details of existing microchips could only be obtained after lengthy waits of up to 20 minutes plus or in some cases, a couple of days before a website was operational again.

In regard to enforcement of the regulations this is massively hindered by a lack of guidance of what an actual 21 Day Notice looks like? The notice does exactly what it says it does, the keeper of a dog has 21 days to get the dog implanted or if already implanted, the incorrect details amended. DEFRA in its wisdom failed to provide sight of what such a notice would look like. We therefore have a compulsory requirement in place within the borders of England but there is no one generic 21 Day Notice available for the enforcers to use.

Another area of concern is the lack of enthusiasm by DEFRA filtering down to local authorities


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