Poll: Should it be compulsory to have your dog micro-chipped?
The micro-chipping of the Beano's Gnasher has been praised by the animal welfare minister for raising awareness of forthcoming regulations making it compulsory for dogs.
George Eustice commended the Dogs Trust, which teamed up with the famous comic on a special strip last year.
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell (Clacton) asked about the new regulations which will require all keepers in England to get their dog micro-chipped by April next year.
He said in the Commons: "In a number of western countries where micro-chipping has been compulsory, fewer dogs are micro-chipped than in the UK, where it has been voluntary.
"What is the maximum penalty that will be imposed on anyone who fails to comply?"
Mr Eustice said 70% of dogs had already been micro-chipped under the voluntary scheme, but added: "Our judgment is we need it now compulsory to get to the remaining 30%.
"We will be taking a proportionate approach when it comes to penalties. In the first instance, someone will be given an enforcement notice, not a penalty, and given 21 days to comply.
"Charities are doing a great deal to raise awareness.
"A recent edition of the Beano included a storyline put there by the Dogs Trust where Gnasher had a micro-chip installed."
Speaker John Bercow said: "That is useful to all of us and, in particular, the honourable member for Clacton who wouldn't otherwise have known of it."
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