A farmer who has had two sheep killed by a dog is calling for a change to the dog microchipping law.
Tony Booth, who farms just outside Sheffield, went through nine days of ‘torment’ when an escaped dog from a hare coursing gang set about traumatising his sheep.
Two sheep were killed and another was crippled before the dog was eventually found and shot by Mr Booth.
He said: “I noticed the sheep in the field running about. They had smashed all the electric fencing down – that is how terrified they were. The sheep were all huddled up together, totally terrified for two or three days.”
Mr Booth thought he was lucky to catch the dog because it had a microchip and he hoped to chase the owner for compensation, but there was no location associated with the chip.
Since April 2016, all dogs have had to be chipped by law. Any owner who is found not to have chipped their dog could face a fine of up to £500.
But Farmers Guardian spoke to the Dogs Trust, who confirmed it is the responsibility of dog owners to update the database with the correct contact details after having the animal chipped.
Sometimes the vet would volunteer to do this, but owners can request to update the system themselves in these circumstances.
Around 40 per cent of chipped dogs dealt with by the National Dog Warden Association have missing or inaccurate information.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) is supporting Mr Booth’s call for a change in the law. Hannah Park, NSA communications officer, said: “While a seemingly positive step in the law, it seems meaningless to require dog owners to microchip their dog if the onus to complete the associated paperwork is not done at the same time.
“To that end, NSA supports any push to ensure dogs cannot be microchipped unless the paperwork is completed at the same time.”
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee chair Neil Parish has also said Defra needs a ‘monitoring process’ to ensure all microchip information is up-to-date.
“Certain individuals do not want accurate information on the microchip so they can distance themselves from ownership of the dog”, he added.
“I will raise this with ministers to ask what more can be done to ensure all microchips contain up-to-date and correct data.”