#FernsLaw: Update the pet microchip system to reunite stolen and missing dogs & cats.

#FernsLaw: Update the pet microchip system to reunite stolen and missing dogs & cats.

30 July 2019
Petition to
Lord Zac Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Defra UK) and
Signatures: 58,201Next Goal: 75,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Debbie Matthews


Please sign #FernsLaw petition to close the loopholes preventing missing microchipped dogs and cats from getting back home.

New Government petition link:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300010

We have microchipped our pets with the expectation to be reunited if the worst happens and they are lost or stolen. If just one organisation is not committed to scan and check microchip registration the whole system fails and is not fit for purpose.

Do you think the Government should look into having only one central data base for our pets enabling owners of missing/stolen dogs and cats to be contacted immediately if a scan identifies them as the rightful owners?


Updates needed to help missing microchipped pets get home:- 

1. We want the veterinary professionals to scan and check dogs and cats microchip registration on original database at first consultation and annual checkups to establish if the pet is reported as missing. This is also a good opportunity to help owners update their contact details. This should be implemented across the industry as a Standard Operation Procedure or Practice Policy. 

2. One microchip number on one database, to prevent new identity being given to missing and stolen pets. The present procedure allows your missing pet to be registered on another database with another owner without cross checking original database! 

3. Databases must not change registration information without contacting the original keeper.  All databases should be working in unison to a Code Of Practice.  

4. When a microchipped missing pet is scanned the veterinary professionals must follow this up and inform the database and or police.  Flow chart for vets is available. The owner  must be contacted immediately by the database before the missing alert is removed.

5. Deceased and injured pets on roads and railways must be checked for a microchip.

6. Seized and hand-in pets must have their microchip registration cross checked by the authorities and rescues. 

7. Immediate reunification if a pet is scanned and is registered as missing on original database. Databases will tell you if someone wants to change your pets microchip registration that you only have 14 days to keep the registration in your name.  No help or advice is given to families. 

8.  Defra must issue a warning about the bogus database operating as a UK Pet Registry Database which is taking money from innocent pet keepers, not realising that when their pets microchip is scanned the microchip will read as unregistered! 

9.  Vets must send microchip registration documentation immediately to the microchip database, it is common knowledge that some vet practices hold on to registrations to save money on posting (online service is available for all).   If a pet goes missing during this time and the pet goes missing, the microchip will show up as unregistered. Please remember if an owner is not found for a stray found dog, after 7 days a dog can legally be rehomed or put to sleep. 

10.  A microchip should be proof of ownership. (Presently we are ‘keepers’, where the dog resides). 

The Compulsory Dog Microchipping Regulations fall short of protecting our dogs and there is now a consultation on introducing the Compulsory Cat Microchipping Regulations. 

“Microchipping of cats will be about as useful in tackling cat theft as microchipping dogs is for tackling dog theft - microchipped pets can only be reunited if authorities choose to scan, check databases and contact owner. We need #PetTheftReform & #FernsLaw” Dr Daniel Allen, Animal Geographer, Keele University and Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA). 

We don’t believe that the Government should only take advice from RCVS, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and Rescues on this issue, as they are at the centre of this injustice and are protecting themselves first and not putting the welfare of the animals or their clients first.


Why #FernsLaw: Stolen Fern was reunited after 6 years because she was picked up as a stray, on her own with no new owner present and her microchip was checked.  If Fern had been taken to the vet with an owner, she would still be missing. 

We want ‘sold on’ and ‘kept by finding’ missing dogs and cats, who have a new keeper present, to have the same chance as a stray to get home.  

Many missing pets are never reunited with their families because it’s left optional to scan and check microchip registration on the original database to make sure pet and keeper match.

Best practice ‘recommendations’ and ‘strengthened advice’ by the veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues to check microchip registration is devised to be misleading and is approved and accepted by Defra.  You only find out that microchips are not checked when your pet has disappeared. 

Every missing microchipped pets deserve the right to be reunited with their loving family.

Please sign #FernsLaw petition for change. Thank you. 

Pet theft rate climbs by 51 per cent in four years, sparking calls for new pet scanning laws: https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/9598216/call-new-pet-scanning-laws-beat-pet-thieves/

Dr. Daniel Allen ‘s Spatialities of Dog Theft: A Critical Perspective:- https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/5/209

Please note that a microchip is not proof of ownership and we are referred to as ‘keepers’ in the Compulsory Dog Microchipping Regulations, which also gives the new keeper the rights to change original registration on a database:- http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111125243



If you have a missing pet please add them on Doglost.co.uk, run by volunteers, all free, supported by police and animal wardens. 

Missing pet groups supporting this petition:- 

Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance, Doglost, Pet Theft Awareness, The Dog Union, Murph’s Army, Dog’s Today Magazine, Dog’s Monthly, Dog Tag, It’s All About The Animals, APDAWG, Missing Pets UK, Missing Dogs UK. 

Please let us know if you would like your organisation added. 


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Signatures: 58,201Next Goal: 75,000
Support now