London, Feb 6: Every dog owner in Britain will have to put microchips on their pets starting 2016 under plans intended to cut a rise in stray animals, BBC reported.
The microchips will be coded with owners’ details, and people who do not comply could face fines of up to 500 pounds.
Owners could also be prosecuted over an attack by their dog on private land.
The microchip procedure involves inserting a sterile chip the size of a grain of rice between a dog’s shoulder blades.
Free microchips will be circulated to veterinary clinics, although it was not clear whether vets will charge for the service.
Government figures reveal that more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, at a cost of 57 million pounds to the taxpayer and welfare charities.
Ministers hope the change in the law will help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets and relieve some burden on animal charities.
“Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it’s stolen,” Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was quoted as saying.
BBC said eight children and six adults have been killed in dog attacks since 2005, with many of these incidents taking place in homes, according to figures from the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs.
Last year, 3,000 postal workers were attacked by dogs, with 70 percent of the attacks happening on private property.
But owners will be protected from prosecution if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on their land.