Irish dog owners have been warned to ensure that their dogs are microchipped this week or face a €5,000 fine.
New laws declare that all dogs must be registered and microchipped by the end of this week.
Minister Simon Coveney stated that this was for the protection of animal welfare in cases of abandonment and to deter those who “assist in identifying marauding dogs and those who pose a threat to livestock and people”.
The compulsory electronic register and tracking system was rolled out on a phased basis, beginning with puppies last September.
It costs around €25- €50 to have the chip, which is usually the size of a grain of rice, fitted according to the Dog’s Trust charity.
Minister Coveney issued a reminder that the laws will become effective from Thursday.
The month of March had officially been established as National Microchipping Month, a collaborative campaign between Fido.ie, Dogs trust, Veterinary Ireland and other partners.
The ‘Chip it, Check it’ slogan has been used to encourage owners to have their dogs chipped – but also to make sure contact details are up to date in case their pet is lost or missing.