Great Debate: Should microchip records be linked to vet records?

veterinary practice

In our August issue, we took an in-depth look at the state of microchipping legislation, and how it could be improved; making additional details available through a single point of access was widely considered an important step to take in order to help tracking missing and stolen dogs – but should new requirements go further, with details of the dogs’ breeder and vet records tied to the microchip number?

In 2021, the Pet Theft task force made several recommendations to improve microchipping legislation, with their report stating that “new requirements to register additional details and a single point of access to microchipping databases will support tracking lost and stolen dogs”.

microchipping microchip

A consultation, which closed in May, was launched to seek the public’s views on Defra’s proposed changes; the results have not yet been made public. Among our readers, many feel that Defra-compliamt databases should be held to higher standards than they are held to now – which is to maintain records, answer telephone and online requests at all times, and back up all data to a secure off-site facility every day.

Would it be better for dog welfare if every dog’s microchip database record had to state who bred them and when, and was linked to their vet health record so that essential data such as important health events always follow the dog?

Some say it would make it easier to keep track of dogs, and most importantly anyone who may find them will immediately know if there are health issues that need addressing, whether they’re immediately able to contact the dog’s keeper or not.

should pet owners be allowed in for vet visits on lockdown?
Image by David Mark on Pixabay

Other say it would be too complicated, and that enforcing such high standards across all 18 official Defra-compliant microchip databases would be unrealistic – as well as a huge extra workload for vet professionals, who may be expected to ensure each vet record update is shared with the microchip database.

What do you think – should a dog’s microchip be linked to their vet records?

Let us know what you think here, on Facebook, or by writing to with “Great Debate” in the subject line.


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