Veterinarians at the St Francis animal shelter in Ta’ Qali offered free treatment services for worms in dogs at the weekend, when families were invited to take their dog to be microchipped.
Recently introduced regulations lay down that all dogs are to be microchipped by June this year. They are intended to reduce the number of people who abuse or abandon their dogs, to lessen public health dangers arising from the spreading of disease by dogs; lessen the number of attacks by abandoned dogs on other dogs and animals; and to create a central database with a registry for all the information relating to dogs and their owners.
The microchip, a small chip, is introduced under the dog’s skin. It carries a unique number which links to information on the owner in the national livestock database.
The chip leads to the identification of the owner, so where a dog is lost, abandoned or involved in some accident, the information about the owner is accessible.
There is a €300 fine for those not registering their dog by the end of this June, or for submitting incorrect, incomplete or false information on registration. No one is allowed to remove a microchip from a dog, and there is a €500 fine on a person having a registered dog whose chip cannot be found.
Dog owners are to ensure that their dog is registered by 30 June, 2012 (and, after this date, before the dog has developed its lower fangs) at a vet. The charge is €11.80, including VAT, for neutered dogs, and €22.70 for non-neutered dogs. The difference is to encourage owners to neuter their dog.
Where dog ownership is transferred, the directorate has to be informed within seven days. A new licence will be issued to the new owner, at no charge.
Further information is obtainable from the Resources Ministry on tel. 2295-2170.