back to article RSPCA calls for dog chipping

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is calling for compulsory microchipping of dogs and a database of dog owners. Some 88 per cent of the charity's conference voted in favour of microchipping dogs in order to link them to owners. 58 per cent of delegates voted in favour of dog registration. Delegates …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Why not say....

    Can all those who are going to commit a crime, please come forward so we can chip you.

    The dogs often are illegal to own. Then they are illegal to fight. So what person is going to bring them forward for chipping?

  2. David Harper

    The next logical step

    Make the mutts carry ID cards!

  3. John Arthur


    "Some 88 per cent of the charity's conference voted in favour of microchipping dogs in order to link them to owners. 58 per cent of delegates voted in favour of dog registration."

    Put the dogs and their owners on the National ID database. No need for yet another database. Problem solved!

  4. Michael

    dog chipping?

    If the problem is not with the dog but with the owners then why not chip the owners and have a database for them instead? Come to think of it we could include everybody in the country. If you wanted to prove who you were you could just get yourself scanned.

    I'm sure Fujitsu has a few rooms full of tip top chaps ready for a database challenge.

    Mine's the houndstooth one

  5. groovyf


    Whatever happened to dog licences?

  6. PaulK
    Dead Vulture

    re: Whatever happened to dog licences?

    Nobody bothered to put the price up so they were still 7/6 (37 1/2 New Pence) when they finally fizzled out. If they were still around today Gordy would have turned them into another revenue stream and had them at £400 by now.

    If the fascisti of the RSPCA want a database they can bloody well pay for it themselves the rich twats.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    dog chipping??

    what?!? you mean the RSPCA want to cut dogs up into small strips, suitable for frying??? well, i'm not sure I approve of that....!

    mines the one with onion gravy and a pickled egg.

  8. Dunstan Vavasour
    Thumb Down


    Of course, this could have an unintended consequence: owners of unchipped dogs would be fearful that they would be prosecuted if they took their dogs to the vet, so might set them astray instead.

  9. David Harper

    Re Licences?

    They were scrapped because the money they brought in didn't even begin to cover the administrative costs.

    If they were brought back, the government would contract out the collection and enforcement to a private company such as Crapita, like they did with TV licence collection.

    The newly-created DPLA (Dog and Puppy Licensing Agency) would assume that every household in the country has a dog, and send threatening letters to cat owners: "Dear Mrs Jones, Your so-called tabby cat Tiddles is the size of a Jack Russell. Pay up. We know where you live, if you get our meaning!"

  10. ImaGnuber


    Dog (or pet) chipping is used by many responsible owners as an aid to recovering their pet in the event that it wanders off, gets lost while travelling etc. and proof of ownership in theft cases.

    It is a responsible thing to do - even the most conscientious owner (and their pet) may be the victim of circumstance.

    Making it mandatory might just be a good thing. Doesn't feed the appetite for paranoia, I know, but there you have it.

  11. FathomsDown

    I'm surprised at the RSPCA.....

    Chipping dogs would invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee...

    ...mine is the one with its tail between its legs and the frikkin' laser.

  12. Mike Crawshaw

    The RSPCA...

    Can kiss my furry butt.

    <'webster phreaky being told Steve Jobs has just been made President Of The World' mode>

    I have NEVER come across an organisation that is so full of power-mad little Hitlers (damn Godwin) so hyped up on excercising their little "police-style" uniforms (complete with rank badges - WTF??). Y'know how Traffic Wardens couldn't get into the police, and "City Centre Wardens" etc are those who couldn't qualify as Traffic Wardens? Well, going by the ones I've had contact with, RSPCA Inspectors are those who failed to be Village Idiots.

    The organisation is a charity, End Of. They have no legal powers aside from bringing private prosecutions. Their little uniforms mean nothing, they have no right of entry, they cannot arrest - aside from a citizens' arrest like the rest of us. That doesn't stop them pushing children out of the way to snatch kittens from their arms (on YouTube, guys), it doesn't stop them intimidating the elderly, it doesn't stop them using a police caution "you do not have to say anything..." blah blah blah. It's all an act to get their own way and justify their own existence. Google for RSPCA "abuse of power" or a similar phrase, and see what turns up. There are even organisations like "Victims of the RSPCA" (IIRC set up by someone whose tortoise was drowned by the RSPCA when they took it away on a pretext, insisted it was a terrapin, and promptly drowned it).

    If the RSPCA want me, as a dog owner, to register with them "because they say so", they can bollocks. They couldn't be bothered to respond when they made libellous accusations against me until I got a lawyer involved. They tried to force entry illegally into my property (under law they must be accompanied by a police officer or local authority rep - they weren't, and they left my property unsecured after trying and failing to get in).

    Once upon a time, the RSPCA were an admirable organisation. These days, it pays its chief exec £110K (this is a CHARITY, mind you!), shuts down its animal rescue centres to build offices (one reduced from 40-dog capacity to 6 recently), and kills healthy animals.

    If this was coming from the Dogs' Trust (formerly National Canine Defence League), I would sign up in a heartbeat. Because it's coming from the Royally Superior Pet's Constabulary Assholes, they can bollox.

    (for the record, I have a GSD, and have been a dog owner for many years. The RSPCA accused me of leaving him without shelter (when he has a full-size Wendy House as a kennel), without water (which he had), at risk from "hazards" (never defined), and in an "unsuitable environment" (also never defined), and there weren't any of either. Except possibly the ground, cos he's a bit clumsy...! They refused to answer my phone or letter communications, until I instructed a lawyer to contact them regards libel charges. I'm still waiting for an apology.)

    (with apologies to anyone who might work for the RSPCA out of genuine desire to do the best for animals. I'm sure you try, guys, but I've never met any of you!)

  13. Dave Silver badge

    Last time I EVER donate to them - 2 reasons

    First reason, providing the government with an ill thought out excuse for yet another database on lawabiding citizens, that would almost certainly end in yet another excessive fee (tax), and more work for an American or Indian company is just totally stupid, short sighted and without justification.

    Second reason, I went to their website, I can't even send these muppets a comment about it without joining their database of people - with the usual lack of guarantee about my informations security or privacy.Why is it so many places (the register included) demand I LOG on before I can comment? Is this part of the stalinist nature of this country that they all have to report any antigovernment comment complete with name, address, inside leg measurement...

    God, I sometimes think my grandads wasted their time fighting Hitler.

  14. Richard
    Thumb Up

    here in Italy....

    Here in Italy dogs are routinely chipped, and have been for years; and I'm all for it. Of course it's not compulsory, just strongly advised: but I feel safer for my own Labradors, knowing they can be unequivocably identified. Makes dognapping (a sadly growing crime) more difficult.

  15. Rob Beard

    Why would I want to chip my dog?

    It's not as if I could play imports on it.

    I'll get my coat.

  16. Spleen


    Following onto Mike Crawshaw's rant above, there's a pretty good opinion piece in The Times today about the RSPCA. Not going to trawl through their godawful website to find an URL, sorry - you could always buy the actual paper and flick to page 15 or thereabouts.

    That article claims that the RSPCA can actually gain access to your outbuildings without a warrant, though they need a warrant for your actual house. I don't know which is true. I don't care. Anyone who breaks into my property without a signed warrant will be treated as a trespasser. Laws are too stupid and cancerous to pay attention to nowadays, rely on your own morality and leave the rest to lawyers, they get paid for it.

  17. Ian Michael Gumby
    Thumb Up

    Those who are against chipping dogs don't own dogs.

    As an owner of 4 dogs, yes *4* dogs in the city, I would say that chipping your pet is the smartest thing you can do.

    If your dog gets loose, and someone catches it, it may not have its collar. So the chip is the best way to id that your dog is your dog.

    Its cheap, relatively painless, and it could save you from a lot of misery if your dog goes missing.

    Oh and if someone snatches your dog and tries to resell it? The chip is going to be a way to identify the missing pooch.

    They have been doing this for years here in the US. So think about it....

  18. Anonymous Coward

    why do i need a title?

    my dog is fast enough without chipping him thnak you very much......

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, dogs have been around for some time. What's changed that they need chipping all of a sudden? There aren't more dogs per human now than before, there isn't a bigger problem with strays (although the old style phone number tag can solve that). Seems like a "just because we can" argument to me.

    I have to agree with the other comments about the RSPCA they are a jumped up waste of space who cause far more problems than they solve.

    On another subject why are UK vets more expensive (by a huge margin) than those in say France, Belgium or Germany? I've checked and they're just as qualified. Spanish vets may not be as well trained but the others are (see EAVE).

  20. Barn

    Doggie Database

    How long before we end up with a register of dogs that are leg-humpers and postie-worriers?

  21. Nic Brough

    Dog? Gun?

    Chipping dogs is a good idea if your dog loses any other id (collar) or is a breed that is at dog-napping risk. But that's it.

    If you want to stop the use of dogs as a weapon, then go for the owners, not the animal - a simple "this person is fit to look after an animal of type X" scheme would cover it.

  22. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Dog? Gun?

    Heh. I'd love to see the kind of moronic swaggering scumfucks who give GSD/Rottweiler/Akita etc. owners a bad name restricted to owning Shih-Tzus and Pugs (topknot ribbons and ickle Pucci designer bodywarmers optional).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Those who are against chipping dogs don't own dogs.

    Rubbish, if dog owners wanted their pets chipped, it would not be necessary to make it COMPULSORY which is what the RSPCA are calling for. How do you know it's painless, if YOU haven't been chipped?

    So RSPCA must be at odds with dog owners (almost nobody gets their dog chipped), and dog owners can fix this very simply by not donating to the RSPCA.

    Just don't donate..... if you don't donate then they go away. (Or is it a crime for me to suggest boycotting an animal organisation under SOCA now?). If they go away then the calls for compulsary chipping and registration of owners dies with them.

    They've lost their focus anyway and they'll be other charities coming along soon enough to fill the void.

  24. Mike Crawshaw

    Re Spleen

    Cheers for the Times reference, I just bought a copy, cos I hate their website too! The article is mainly about how difficult it is to adopt from the RSPCA, despite how much they publicise it, and how well-off they are financially. Any animal not adopted within a certain amount of time (I believe it's 3 months, but I'm not sure) is killed. Any animal they have no room for is killed. Compare this to the Dogs' Trust ("We never put down a healthy dog!").

    The article states (in relation to power of entry):

    "The 2006 Act gave uniformed RSPCA officers the right to enter non-domestic properties without a warrant (they can enter your home only with a warrant but they like people to believe otherwise)..."

    Quite true, they can enter commercial properties without a warrant under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They stretch this to try to include peoples' homes where a person acts as a breeder for cats/dogs from their house. This has led to a number of quite amusing incidents such as:

    RSPCA Inspector: "That cat's pregnant and neglected!"

    Breeder: "No, really it's not."

    RI: "Yes it is!!!"

    Br: "it's a boy..."

    The Act states that an RSPCA Inspector only has power of entry to domestic residences if accompanied by:

    * A police officer

    * a local authority representative

    * an Animal Health Inspector (ie employed by DEFRA)

    This includes any secured part of a property, such as a locked-off back garden. If you have your dog in your open front garden though, it's techically fair game. Despite what the article says, they cannot get warrants themselves for domestic properties, and refer to the police.

    If the resident gives consent, they may enter. With their little shiny uniforms though, they have been known to knock on peoples' doors and demand entry, acting as though they have that power, and people, not knowing any better, let them in - resulting in a lot of trouble and often heartache when family pets are taken away for no real reason other than to justify the inspector's power trip.

    (PS I don't disagree with chipping. My GSD is chipped. I disagree with a charity acting like "The Animal Police")

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, *that* chipping

    Drat. I was all set to show up with my sand wedge...

  26. FathomsDown

    Re: @Those who are against chipping dogs don't own dogs.

    "How do you know it's painless, if YOU haven't been chipped?"

    Maybe we should give Kevin Warwick a call on this matter? I think he would say it was well worth it because your dog would become..... a cybermutt!

    Mine is the non-shedding Aibo coat.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Wasn't there a recent study indicating that chipping is a cancer risk for most domestic pets.

    Prevention of CRUELTY, you say...?


    On an unrelated note, I get my kill at dog lovers who say that breeds like pit bulls, dogos and other "fighting dogs" aren't dangerous. Temperament, they tell us, is in the training rather than the breeding. And what do they say about golden labradors? They tell us they have a natural gentle temperament and aren't aggressive.


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe ...

    We should chip the RSPCA inspectors and see how they like it?

  29. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    What next, buffalo chipping?

    The hell with dog chipping. My organization, Macrotosh Ltd., is developing an aerosol analyzer to allow you to trail lost dogs from pillar to post.

  30. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Those who are against chipping dogs don't own dogs.

    I'm a bit surprised this is even being debated. Chipping's just an injection in the scruff, which is the bit mother dogs pick up their puppies by, so kind of built not to be too sensitive.

  31. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Chipping...?

    It is in the breeding to a point, but mostly due to unscrupulous or amateur or accidental breeders not breeding out undesirable traits. The dogs that end up in the news for doing horrific things are generally the product of a perfect storm of clusterfuckage involving a whole bunch of negligent idiots, right back to the morons who owned the dogs' great-grandparents. But it is training, too, and general treatment. You get back what you put in, etc. If you take an intelligent working dog and chain it up in a backyard with nothing to do, it is going to go insane and bite people, where if it had been treated properly and given the right stimulation and leadership it would most likely have lived its whole life without ever showing any serious aggression.

    I'm not going to get into this, boy howdy, but it's a much more complex issue than 'these dogs are dangerous and these aren't, it's OBVious to any idiot regardless of whether they could tell a Dobermann from a donkey, so there'. Of course larger dogs can do you more damage and so you need to take greater care with them (although they are often treated worse, by macho arseholes), but any aggressive dog is a problem. A behaviourist I know works with dogs under control orders and considered dangerous, so plenty of pit bulls and the like, but the one that bit her so badly she needed stitches a few months ago was a Westie.

    In any case, owners have to be made responsible, because dogs can't. They're dogs.

  32. Andy Bright

    There are good things to be said of this

    First, chipping dogs means a quick scan and the owner of a lost dog can be found pretty sharpish - even if they've moved since the rfid was injected - "who? Jim? yeah he was the old tenant, lives down the road now, let me get his number.." or whatever.

    Then of course you have the idiots that own dogs they can't handle and refuse to train properly. Pitbulls and so on don't actually need to be violent dogs. If you have strong but never-abusive owners, they can be properly controlled and won't feel the fear that causes 999/1000 dog attacks. Because nearly every time you'll find that the dogs psych was fucked up. Actually it's quite easy to do, and even well intentioned individuals can do it. Forcing nervous dogs to meet strangers for example, letting kids irritate and annoy them, over-coddling - convincing the dog something must be wrong if the owner keeps trying to reassure it. Do that enough times and the dog lives in a permanent state of fear and feels the need to protect it's territory and owner.

    So finding out who the owner of the dog was is sort of important if you want to stop idiots from owning dogs. Nothing worse than having to put down a dog, and knowing that this is nearly always the fault of the owner doesn't particularly help.

  33. Graham Marsden

    The government said it does not intend to introduce new legislation.

    I'm sorry, is there a typo in the words I've quoted in the title...???

  34. Rosemary

    Chipping etc.

    As the (unpaid) trustee of an rspca local branch I have an interest, but may I point out:

    I spend an awful lot of time trying to return animals to their owners. If an animal strays and is injured its life may depend on being able to contact an owner quickly - not because the evil RSPCA is killing animals right left and centre, but because I don't have £1K+ to spend on each animal and the owner may do if they've taken out pet insurance.

    Typically local authority dog wardens have a very low budget for treating injuries. Usually anything more expensive than cuts will mean the animal is put to sleep unless the owner is found quickly.

    The Times article is at

    Basically she's complaining because the owners of the shelter she visited were sufficiently responsible that they were unwilling to give her a dog that might injure her four year old child.

    She's simply wrong about the Animal Welfare Act - it talks about "Inspectors" but these are local authority inspectors.

    On a lighter note - here is our local Animal Collection Officer with a very wet deer

  35. Boris Blank

    Chip the pooch?

    If I have my dog chipped, will I be able to start using imported food?

  36. Rachel


    Last time I visited their website, looking for guidance on what to do about a cat we suspected was in trouble, I was thrilled to see that item 3 on their 3 item FAQ was ''. Responding to many concerned Daily Mail readers, the charity saw fit to explain that was in fact a joke, albeit in extremely poor taste, and since the perps weren't actually perping anything, there was, they regretted, absolutely nothing they could do about it. Nommers.

  37. Robin Bradshaw
    Paris Hilton

    A fly in the ointment

    "but the one that bit her so badly she needed stitches a few months ago was a Westie."

    Westies are evil little critters, they are ony suitable for making slippers out of.

    On a more serious note, There is a problem with the idea of mandatory chipping.

    It would be relatively easy to enforce mandatory chipping if dogs were like consumer electronics all being churned out of relatively few factorys that are easy to inspect and control. Howerver dogs have the odd property of being capable of self replication, at least they do when you keep both versions of a given model of dog together, this property makes it quite difficult to regulate the production of dogs.

    Compare with the production of games consoles, Imagine all consoles had to be serialised and the details of the purchaser recorded, simple enough to do at the point of purchase, but if you could put 2 consoles side by side and they would, over the course of a few weeks, produce a third unserialised console the whole system becomes alot more difficult to enforce.

    Im all for chipping of animals as it makes them easy to identify and if my cat were to go missing i know the chip will increase the likelyhood of my being reunited with him. However mandatory chipping of animals will do nothing to stop the breeding and illegal fighting of dogs, since the people who are running dog fights obviously dont care about the law. So i doubt they will be worried about not chipping their dogs.

    Paris - cause shes a ...

  38. Chronos


    I'd really rather you didn't encourage dimwits to own shih-tzu, or any other breed/mongrel/Heinz 57 for that matter. No idea if you've ever had one but the top-knot really is optional (one of mine looks like a miniature ridgeback with the pet cut), they're very good companion dogs and they're usually rather comical (just check the washing before you switch the machine on, IYKWIM). A scumfuck akin to the ones you mention used one of mine as a football for a few years before I got him, which has left him incontinent (spinal problem, no feeling from about two-thirds down his back) and with a very out-of-shape lower jaw due to being left to heal without vetinary attention. Christ alone knows how he managed to eat. Picking up what was left and rebuilding trust was our job.

    What did the RSPCA (or anyone else) do? Sod all. It took the local rescue to get him out and placed with me, simply because I was the only member they thought could handle him after all that (not bragging. It's nice to be trusted with the hard to manage cases and you usually end up with devoted dogs). Needless to say I didn't get the waiver forms with shithead's address on them; something about not being rescue policy for one of their members to start teaching dog ownership ethics with a baseball bat at some God-forsaken hour of the morning. He has now been thirteen for the past three years (remark made by the vet after I instictively said thirteen when asked the usual question) and seems to be over it, although he hates me picking up a Wiimote. No idea why as we've had him since long before the Wii was released, but fire up Wii Sports and he buggers off sharpish. He's not hand-shy, it's the Wiimote itself. Even waving a TV remote around doesn't spook him. Anyone know of a anything nasty shaped like a Wiimote?

    What should really happen to these pricks is they get castrated so the excess testosterone doesn't move them to harm helpless animals "for a laugh" simply because they can't get laid and aren't man enough to go pick a real fight with the most likely outcome being getting their empty heads kicked in. For a start, anyway ;-)

    Totally agree with the subtext, though. It's not the dog that's at fault if the empty-headed owner thinks he's hard with a GSD/Staffie/Rottie trained to bite on sight. Staffies in particular think that biting, once trained into them, is just a good game to play with humans/other dogs/cats/the postie. They're just too daft to be malicious, which is why the idiots dock their tails; if they left them on, they'd be wagging so ferociously that the poor thing would take off Muttley style...

    Apologies for the language but I think it's justified. Back on topic, what does an RFID chip do to prevent this from happening? Jack shit. But then the RSPCA do jack shit to stop abuse these days, more content to annoy real dog owners whose geriatric dogs are overweight (remember that one?) and causing the dog suffering due to being wrenched away from its owners at this late stage of its life.

  39. Tim Bates

    Look at Australia, people.

    It's been mandatory in most of Australia for dogs and cats to be chipped for about 10 years. Get with the times people.

    Our scheme replaced individual shire council dog registration schemes, usually removing an annual fee and replacing it with a lifetime chip registration fee.

  40. Spleen


    "A scumfuck akin to the ones you mention used one of mine as a football for a few years before I got him, which has left him incontinent (spinal problem, no feeling from about two-thirds down his back) and with a very out-of-shape lower jaw due to being left to heal without vetinary attention."

    On first reading I started out thinking that the bit after the comma referred to the scumfuck, not the dog. I was disappointed when the context became clearer. (Which only happened at the very end of the paragraph; not at the word "veterinary", for obvious reasons.)

  41. Chronos


    Yes, sadly I didn't get the chance to meet said scumfuck. My inflexible friend, the axe handle and myself could have had a whale of a time. Having said that, it wouldn't have helped Chico at all to have me banged up, although my wife would have done exactly the same just as well, perhaps better - and yes, I did leave that deliberately ambiguous ;)

  42. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    ebony, ivory, living in the doghouse constantly

    It's been a long time since every single decent joke was used up before I got here - well done everyone.

    Dogs, cats, and even hamsters have all lived in perfect harmony within my childhood... in fact, whilst we had the hamsters (a sex identification, caging and breeding error that resulted in 26 of the little buggers and for which the responsibility lies solely with my little sis, althtough she still blames the vet), we also had a cat and 2 dogs. The cat was in charge though. The dogs always knew this.

    Oh - and just to give a little balance to this RSPCA bashing. In the old days we NEEDED the RSPCA to prevent the hamster population being repeated by the dogs. So - thanks guys, retrospectively. Hope you find your ideology again soon.

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