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Pendle makes first prosecution under new dog micro-chipping laws

Published: Friday, 2nd December 2016

A Pendle man has been fined £330 by Burnley Magistrates after Pendle Council summonsed him to court for failing to get his dog microchipped.

“This is the first prosecution in Pendle following the new act which came into force on 6th April,” announced Councillor David Whipp, who leads on Neighbourhood Services.

The new regulations require all dog owners to microchip their dogs and make sure the names and addresses recorded on the database are kept up to date. 

“All dog owners who’ve not yet had their dogs microchipped need to take heed of this case,” he warned.
The dog in this first prosecution was a Staffordshire bull terrier found straying in Nelson on 11th April.

The dog wasn’t microchipped and was taken to kennels and reclaimed later that day by Mark Smith, aged 56, of Whitehall Street, Nelson.

Mr Smith was served a Legal Notice giving him 21 days to get his dog microchipped.
On 12th August 2016, the same dog was once again found straying in Nelson, still not microchipped.

The dog was taken to kennels again where it was reclaimed by its owner, Mark Smith.

Pendle Council issued proceedings against Mr Smith for failing to comply with the Notice served.

On Friday 25th November 2016, Mr Smith failed to attend court and was found guilty in his absence, resulting in a fine of £220 plus £80 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

David Alexander, Pendle Council’s Senior Environmental Crime Officer stated:

 “Mr Smith was given every opportunity under the new legislation to get his dog microchipped, but chose to ignore the issue. 

“As a result he’s a hefty fine to pay for a service which the Council has provided for free!

“We’ve held four free microchipping events in different parts of Pendle this year alone, thanks to support from the Dogs Trust. 

“The service is also available at any registered vet for a small fee,” he explained. 

“We’ve publicised the new legislation both before and after the new law came into force,” he added.

Pendle Council’s Dog Wardens are using this prosecution to give a timely reminder to dog owners to keep their pets safe.

Dog Warden, Laura Robinson, explained:

“Microchipping a dog is a permanent way of identifying your pet if they get lost or stolen.

“A microchip is the size of a grain of rice under the dog’s skin.

“When a dog goes missing we can scan the microchip and get them home safely,” she said.

“Under the legislation dog owners must also keep their microchip records up to date so that they can be contacted if their missing pet is found,” explained Laura.

“Over a third of all the dogs we’ve picked up since April were microchipped but nearly half had the wrong addresses on the record as people had moved house!”