Dog owners fined under new microchip laws

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Three St Helens residents have become the latest dog owners in the borough to be convicted under microchipping legislation.

Between them, Joanne Thompson, Jason Jones and Richard Delnik were fined £1,827 after being found guilty in their absence at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates’ Court of separate offences in relation to failing to have a microchip transponder in a dog, as prescribed by the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.

A further offence of not displaying a tag with owner details inscribed was also considered.

The court heard how:

* Thompson of Borough Road, St Helens, didn’t have her Jack Russell type dog microchipped in line with current legislation and failed to ensure ownership details were visible on the dog.

* Jones of Queens Drive, Newton-le-Willows, repeatedly allowed his Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dog to stray with incorrect details registered on a microchip - and failed to display ownership details on the dog collar.

* An imported Daschund type dog belonging to Delnik of Ravenstone Drive, St Helens, that was found wondering without the tag had not had its microchip transponder registered on a British database.

Each defendant was hit with a total fine of £609, broken down as a £220 fine for non-compliance with the current microchip legislation; £220 for not displaying a tag with ownership details on; a £44 victim surcharge – as well as an additional £125 in costs.

Coun Terry Shields, cabinet member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, said: “Dog owners were given enough notice prior to April 2016 when it became compulsory by law for all dogs to be microchipped.

“Free microchipping was even carried out by the council for free for 12 months before the introduction date, so there can be no excuses.

“Our Dog Welfare and Enforcement team has the right to check any dog to ensure the dog walker is complying with the requirements of the

Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015.

“If dogs are found unregistered to the address at which they live, or unchipped at all, then an offence has been committed and the owner will be liable for a hefty fine.”