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Microchipping of dogs (including greyhounds) kept under a block licence

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development wishes to remind all dog owners, including greyhound owners, of changes to the block dog licensing rules from 1 January 2013.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012

From 1 January 2013 dog owners must ensure that all dogs, including greyhounds, kept under a block licence issued on or after 9 April 2012 are microchipped if they are eight weeks or more old. Also anyone applying for a block licence, on or after the 1 January 2013, must have any dog aged eight weeks or over mircochipped before they apply for the licence.

Dogs Trust is providing free microchipping, for any dog including greyhounds kept under either a single dog licence or a block licence, until 31 December 2012. Dog owners are encouraged to contact their local Council to obtain more information on how to avail of the free microchipping offer while there is still time.

Where a dog is not microchipped in accordance with the Dogs Order 1983 and the Dogs (Licensing and Identification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, it will not be considered licensed, which is an offence liable to prosecution.

Further information on dog licensing is available here.

Notes to editors:

  1. Provisions in the Dogs (Amendment) Act 2011, which make microchipping a condition of a dog licence, came into operation on 9 April 2012.
  2. The Dogs (Licensing and Identification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 came into operation on 9 April 2012. These Regulations made it compulsory from that time for dogs held under a block licence issued after that date, other than greyhounds, to be microchipped from 12 weeks of age. From 1 January 2013 all dogs including greyhounds held under a block licence issued after that date, will need to be microchipped from eight weeks of age.
  3. A block licence can be applied for if a person keeps three or more dogs on the same premises and has:-
    (a) not less than three unsterilized bitches any of which is used for breeding purposes;
    (b) not less than three dogs which are registered with the Kennel Club, the Irish Coursing Club, the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the Masters of Harriers and Beagles Association, the Northern Ireland Masters of Hounds Association or the International Sheep Dog Society; or
    (c) being the premises of guard dog kennels in respect of which those persons are registered under Article 10 of the Dogs Order 1983, not less than three dogs which are used as guard dogs elsewhere.
  4. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: DARD Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.