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Dog owners are reminded that they will have to microchip and register their pet before a new law comes into force on 6 April 2016.

The new law is part of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 and makes it compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be fitted with microchips, registered to an approved database and for the details on the chip to be kept up to date.

The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and will be officially registered with an approved microchip database, which holds information about the dog and its owners contact details.

Failure to get your dog microchipped and registered could result in you being issued with a notice giving you 21 days to get your dog chipped. If this isn’t complied with, this could result in a £500 fine.

The new measures are to help protect dogs that may become lost or stolen as well as to tackle vicious or illegal dogs.

You can get your dog microchipped by going to your local veterinary practice, or for free when you book an appointment with the charity Dogs Trust (visit ).

Brentwood Borough Council’s Chair of the Environment and Housing Management Committee, Councillor Chris Hossack, said: “Microchipping gives peace of mind to dog owners that your pet will be returned home if they ever become lost or are stolen. Collars and tags can become lost or removed, but microchipping is a permanent way of identifying your pet.

These new rules also aim to deter thefts and help vets to contact owners in emergency situations –  we are urging owners to keep their contact details up to date.”