Could we be left behind in puppy law?

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NORTH East MSP Nanette Milne has called on the SNP Government to support the introduction of microchipping for dogs.

This follows the decision by the UK Government to introduce compulsory microchipping in England and Wales by April, 2016.

The North East MSP is concerned that if Scotland does not adopt similar legislation we could see problems with lost, stolen or dumped dogs dramatically increase, with Scotland an easy route for the illegal import of puppies into the UK.

Dr Milne said: “There is clearly a growing problem with thousands of puppies imported illegally into Britain every year from Eastern Europe as well as a significant increase in puppies being abandoned once they reach adolescence.

“Every year more than 100,000 dogs are dumped across the UK at a cost of £57m to the taxpayer and animal welfare charities.

“The action which the UK Government is taking to introduce the microchipping for dogs will, it is hoped, help address the problem of thousands of puppies being imported illegally into Britain. However, I am concerned that if we do not have similar legislation in place in Scotland we could see the problem dramatically increase with Scotland becoming an easy route for the illegal import of puppies into the UK.

“There have been specific issues relating to puppy farms and the cross-border movement of dogs. I am concerned that this may become a greater problem if Scotland is the only part of the UK which does not require compulsory microchipping.

“I will seek urgent discussions with SNP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead MSP and if SNP Ministers will not act I will consider bringing forward a Private Members Bill to seek cross-party support for the introduction of compulsory micro-chipping of dogs in Scotland.”