Video: England to Require Microchips in All Dogs by 2016

Microchips have long been seen as a great way to reduce the number of stray dogs and to reunite lost pets with their owners. However the process has always been voluntary, left up to the dog owner to decide whether or not to have the dog “chipped.” However, under a new law, dog owners in England will be required to to microchip their pets starting in 2016, and the fine for noncompliance could be almost $800.

According to the BBC, there has been a significant rise in strays in recent years, and it is costing the government a lot of money. But the new system is not without flaws and will only be as good as the accompanying record keeping, say some dog advocates. If you can read the information on a stray dog’s microchip, but the information is inaccurate, the chip has served no purpose.

There are many organizations providing free microchipping to those who can’t afford it, removing that impediment to the process.

What do you think? Is this the nanny state overreaching, or is it a realistic way to deal with a growing problem?

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More than 100,000 dogs are abandoned or lost annually in the U.K., according to BBC News, which costs British taxpayers and animal welfare charities about $90 million.

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