Dog owners in the Bradford district are being warned to ensure their dogs are microchipped and the information is up-to-date.

In April 2016 a new law came into force meaning dog owners who have not had their pets microchipped could face a fine of up to £500.

Bradford recently had its first prosecution of failure to comply with the Microchipping of Dogs (England ) Regulations 2015. The dog owner had three dogs, one was not microchipped, the other two were but the details were not correct. The dog owner was found guilty and was fined £484 with costs of £870.

Any dog over the age of eight weeks is now required to be microchipped and registered to an approved database.

It is up to the breeder or current owner to microchip the dog and for each subsequent new owner to ensure the details have been changed and are up-to-date.

Microchipping is an effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet ensuring that your dog is returned to you quickly should it go missing or be stolen.

The microchip is a small electronic device (about the size of a grain of rice) which is implanted into the dog’s skin. The microchip contains a unique number which can be read with a microchip reader.

If a dog is microchipped, the dog wardens, vets and rescue centres are able to log into a secure database and obtain the details of the dog’s owners.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Healthy Places, said: “Dog owners need to be clear on the steps they need to take to act responsibly in keeping their pets safe. Microchipping makes it easier and quicker to return dogs back to their owners should they be lost or stolen and helps to keep dogs safe and also the wider public.”