FAQ Compulsory Microchipping in the Republic of Ireland

Please note: The following questions and answers are provided for general information only, may not cover every circumstance, and are no substitute for legal advice.

What are the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015?

They are Regulations made under the Irish Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 that require all dogs to be microchipped and registered to a database. They were signed in March 2015 and came into force on 1st June 2015.

We strongly recommend that all implanters, breeders and dog owners read these Regulations carefully, and familiarise themselves with the new requirements. 

What does microchipped mean?

For the purposes of the Regulations, a dog is only classed as microchipped when a compliant microchip has been implanted, and the required owner and pet details have been registered to a compliant dog microchip database.

Compliant microchips must be FDX-B microchips with a unique 15-digit number, compliant with ISO 11784/11785, and must generate a manufacturer code that has been certified by ICAR.

petDetect Trovan microchips are compliant for this purpose.

What databases are compliant?

Currently, a list of dog databases is published on the Irish Department of Agriculture’s website.

Any dog database holding pet and owner details against a microchip implanted in a dog, must meet minimum requirements set out in the Regulations, one of which is that they must be a member of Europetnet.

What about the UK database Petlog, are they compliant?

Petlog are not a compliant database for the Irish Regulations.

We recommend the Irish Kennel Club dog identification database. They can register both pedigree and non-pedigree dogs, and we have partnered with them to be able to offer training to non-veterinary implanters wishing undertake compliant training to enable them to implant dogs within the Republic of Ireland.

When does microchipping become a legal requirement in the Republic of Ireland?

       ?All puppies born after 1st June 2015 must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age.

       ?All dogs to which S.16(1) of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 applies must be microchipped from 1st September 2015.

       ?All dogs must be microchipped from 31st March 2016.

No puppy or dog may be sold, rehomed, or acquired without being microchipped.

What details must be entered in on the dog microchip database?

The unique microchip number, the date of implantation, the dog’s date of birth, a description of the dog, e.g breed, colour, sex of the dog, address of premises where the dog is normally kept, the name, address and contact details of the owner, and if necessary, the person who is normally in possession of the dog and the identity of the implanter must all be recorded. If required, details of the death of the dog and details of the loss of any dog must also be recorded.

My dog is already microchipped and registered to a database, do I need to have another one inserted?

No, as long as the microchip is technically compliant. However, owners may need to arrange for the microchip to be registered with one of the compliant dog databases, and/or for the required details as stated above to be updated. Unfortunately, dogs registered with Petlog will not be compliant, and owners should seek to register their details with a compliant database listed on the DAFM website.

Do I still need a dog licence?


Why isn’t the dog licence attached to the microchip?

While the two systems could potentially be linked in the future this is not currently the case. Private and NGO based dog microchipping databases have been operating successfully for over a decade in Ireland. It would require a significant change in IT architecture both for these databases and local authorities. It also raises significant legal issues under Data Protection legislation.

I have already received training in microchip implantation - can I still microchip dogs?

Under the Irish Regulations, anyone who isn’t a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse, cannot microchip or register dogs unless they have received training from a compliant dog database, are listed on the database’s website as an implanter and have been issued with a valid implanter code. No previous training that non-veterinary implanters may have received in implanting microchips will be recognised, so until re-training has been completed as specified in the Regulations, they cannot continue to microchip dogs. If you are wishing to train then we recommend you contact the Irish Kennel Club on +353 (1) 4533300.

I am permitted to microchip dogs as per the Regulations - can I microchip my own puppies and dogs, or those of a relative?

No, a clause in the Regulations prevents anyone, either a veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse, or appropriately trained implanter from implanting a microchip in their own dogs.

This also applies to situations where either the implanter, or a connected person -

1) Has a pecuniary interest or other beneficial interest in the dog

2) Is the owner or part owner of the dog

3) Has possession or control of the dog either full or part-time

4) Is a partner or employee of a person referred to in any of the above.

The operator or employee of a dog breeding establishment may also not microchip a dog connected with such an establishment.

There are two exceptions to this in regards to charitable organisations or a person employed within a hunt club – please read the Regulations for further information.

If you are unsure on whether you are permitted to microchip a dog or not, please contact DAFM.

So can I still purchase microchips from you?

Whilst our microchips are technically compliant, with the new training requirements for people wishing to implant dogs, we will now only supply persons who we can verify have been trained in compliance with the requirements specified in the Regulations. petDetect have partnered with the Irish Kennel Club, who are a compliant dog microchip database, and can offer training that is compliant with the Regulations. Please contact the Irish Kennel Club for more information.

I am a veterinary practice based in Ireland, can I purchase microchips from you?

Yes, our microchips are compliant with the requirements set out in the legislation. Veterinary practices must ensure that they register the microchips with a compliant dog identification database. We recommend the Irish Kennel Club microchip database. Please note that under the Regulations the implanter is required to inform the database of the unique idenfication number of each microchip contained within their order. For veterinary practices who use the Irish Kennel Club database petDetect will send this information through to the IKC on their behalf. We therefore require each veterinary practice's unique identification number issued to them by the Irish Kennel Club database at the time of their order. Orders can be placed via our website or by phone, however we advise you contact us before placing your first order.

I am a veterinary practice using a different database to the Irish Kennel Club, can I purchase microchips from you?

Yes, however please note it is your responsibility to notify your chosen database of every microchip number you receive with each order you place with us. Orders can be placed via our website or by phone, however we advise that you contact us before placing your first order.

I wish to have my dog microchipped, how can I go about this?

You must contact your veterinary practice, or search a compliant dog database for a non-veterinary implanter that has received the correct training as laid out in the Regulations. An owner must ensure that the implanter is using a compliant microchip, and that the microchip will be registered to a compliant database.

What happens once my dog has been microchipped?

Once the implanter has inserted the microchip and it has been registered on a compliant database, the owner shall receive a certificate of registration from the database. The owner must then keep this certificate, and if requested to do so, the owner must ensure that they are able to present this certificate to an authorised officer.

It will be illegal for a person to be in possession of a dog without an authorised certificate.

My details have changed, what do I do?

It is the owner’s responsibility once the implanter has made the initial registration, to keep their contact details up to date with the dog database. If your details have changed then contact the dog database that your dog is registered with to arrange for these details to be updated.

Failure to do so may mean you are in breach of the law.

I am selling or rehoming a dog, what do I need to do?

The person acquiring a dog must present a form of identification e.g. passport, and a utility bill from within the last 3 months, at the time of sale.

The person selling or rehoming the dog must then ensure they are happy that these details match the person who is taking the dog, record these details on a copy of the registration certificate, and give this certificate to the new owner at the time of sale/rehoming.

They must then notify the dog database of the name, address and contact details of the new owner.

Failure to do so may mean you are in breach of the law.

I have brought or rehomed a dog, what do I need to do?

Once the previous owner has completed the steps as above, it is also the responsibility of the new owner to notify the dog database of the transfer of ownership.

They must fill in a form supplied by the dog database, and sent this off along with a copy of the registration certificate supplied by the previous owner, and a copy of identification for the new owner e.g. passport, as well as a copy of a utility bill listing the address and new owner details.

The new owner will then be issued a certificate of registration by the dog database.

If there are several databases how will someone who finds my dog know where to look?

To be a compliant database in the Republic of Ireland, a database must be a full member of Europetnet. If your dog is found, a search on europetnet.com will show which database holds the owner’s registered details.

I have brought my dog to Ireland from abroad. Do I need to do anything?

If you are here on a holiday or other short stay, you do not have to do anything further as your dog would already have been microchipped and accompanied on import, by a pet passport or a veterinary health certificate.

If you are planning a long term or permanent stay, you will need to register your ownership of your dog on a database in this country within 21 days of arrival. Bring your dog and it's papers (Pet Passport/health certificate on which it was imported) along to a veterinary practice to have it recorded on a compliant database.

If your dog has been microchipped with a microchip that is not compliant with the requirements specified in the Regulations, then you are advised to contact DAFM for further advice.

How will the Regulations be enforced?

Local authorities, DAFM and An Garda Siochana will be responsible for enforcing the Regulations. Vets and implanters will not be expected to enforce the Regulations but will play a role in educating owners of their responsibilities.

Owners of dogs found without a microchip after 31s March 2016 will have a short amount of time to have the procedure carried out. Those who refuse to microchip their dogs could face a fine of up to €5,000.

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