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MTA Conference and Battersea 2023 microchipping report

This is partly an update on the recent Microchip Trade Association Conference and our thoughts on the Battersea microchipping report. It’s all in together as they both touch on the same items. 

Introduction of Cat microchipping

Nearly everyone at the Microchip Trade Association Conference felt Cat microchipping is a good thing. They believe it will help get more lost cats home and will also give more pet owners closure if their cat is killed on the road.

There are some concerns about usefulness but this video shows how important cat microchipping will be! We’re big supporters!

There are too many low performing microchip databases

The feedback on databases was overwhelming. The three bits of feedback I heard were:

  1. There are too many Defra compliant databases
  2. Many databases offer dreadful service to pet owners, vets, local authorities etc.
  3. Fraudulent databases continue to exist

 

We heard from a lot of people stating that microchip databases need to do more. Unfortunately, that simplifies the problem. There are amazing databases and there are rubbish databases. There are databases that meet the requirements under the legislation and there are some that don’t. 

In a market where there is regulation, there needs to be enforcement. It was incredibly exciting to hear Defra state at the conference that they will be starting to up the level of enforcement. 

We heard from a range of people including Battersea, Local Authorities, Campaign groups such as Vets Get Scanning with a range of feedback about microchip databases and what we should do more of:

  • Send annual emails reminding people to keep their details up to date
  • Record backtrack information. i.e. where did the pet come from, who implanted the microchip
  • Have a method to mask details of a pet keeper when appropriate such as domestic abuse cases, or ongoing legal cases.
  • Maintain a 24/7 phone line for lost pets (As is required by law)
  • Have a portal for authorised users to log in to for finding pet details.

 

We already do all of the above! Many other databases do all of the above. It is very much up to Defra to enforce the current legislation and introduce more stringent legislation. We 100% support this.

Duplicate Microchips

Another problem talked about a lot is Duplicate registrations. i.e. a pet is registered on more than 1 database. It looks very likely this won’t be allowed as part of upcoming legislation. This is great news from Defra and we support it!

Single Point of Search

It looks very likely Defra will seek to introduce a Single point of search for fetching pet owner details. This is great in principle but I think care needs to be taken to ensure the cost does not increase the costs of the overall service we as databases provide. I fully believe better enforcement of the existing rules would remove much of the need for a single point of search. I do worry about the added cost this will impose on our services as someone will need to pay for it. 

Building pet owner awareness

Another conference theme was ensuring pet owners are aware of their responsibilities. 

I feel really strongly that a responsible pet owner should do their research before adopting or buying a pet to ensure they meet all their obligations and that they protect their pet. Part of this research is learning that it’s their responsibility to ensure their pet is microchipped and registered on a Defra-compliant microchip database. 

The same applies to ensuring as a pet owner you don’t get pet-fished and buy a pet from a dodgy breeder. 

Check out THIS ARTICLE it talks about whether a pet owner should have to complete mandatory training before owning a pet. 

Overall we all need to do more to build more awareness about pet owner responsibilities

Stray Animals

Over the last 10 years, dogs found as strays has decreased year on year. Until last year where there was a marked increase in stray dogs. This is scary and sad. I think it has been compounded by a number of things:

  1. 1.5 million new dogs brought into homes during Covid, as life goes back to offices etc many people don’t / won’t make time for their pets.
  2. Cost of living crisis which has seen people struggle financially and has impacted many people’s mental health

 

In order to help people ensure their details are up to date we do the following:

  • We send a reminder email every 6 months to help people stay on top of their data
  • It’s always free to update / amend your details with MyPet
  • It’s free to transfer a pet into your account and your details.

 

We’d love to work with any organisation on helping people keep their details up to date and protecting their pet. Just let us know! 🙂

Summary

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