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Mandatory microchipping of dogs took effect from 1 July 2011. All dogs over six months of age must now be microchipped. Exemptions exist from compulsory microchipping for specified racing greyhounds specified hunting dogs and all working dogsIf your dog is not microchipped and strays or is lost, the council may microchip it, and recover the cost, before returning it to you.
If you are buying a dog it is your responsibility to ensure that it is microchipped Â either before you buy it or immediately after you take possession of it.
A dog is implanted in an approved manner and with an approved microchip when:
a) the microchip meets the requirements of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and can be read by a multi-scanner; and
b) implantation of the microchip is subcutaneous in the dorsum between the scapulae in such a way that the microchip lies at an oblique angle to the plane of the skin.
Your local council, a veterinary surgeon, animal welfare agencies like the Dogs Home or RSPCA, or a pet shop can either microchip your dog or provide you with information as to where you can have it microchipped.
The cost of microchipping can vary anywhere between $30 and $70. However, councils and animal welfare agencies may hold microchipping clinics where it is expected that the cost could be kept to approximately $25.
The cost may also be reduced if the microchipping is carried out in conjunction with other treatments such as vaccinations and neutering.
You dog will still have to be registered with your council. This allows councils to provide the level of dog control required in the community.
The registration disc that your dog is required to wear enables the council to return your dog to you if it becomes lost or strays and is impounded by a council ranger.
If a second disc containing personal contact details is added to your dogÂs collar, your dog may be able to be returned to you by a member of the public without the need for a council ranger to be involved. But registration discs can also become detached from dog collars and microchipping is the best way to ensure that your dog can be identified and returned to you quickly.
If your dog is stolen, a collar and registration tag can be easily removed. However, if the dog is microchipped, and the registry has been advised that it has gone missing or is believed to have been stolen, a veterinary surgeon, animal shelter or council may detect any errors in ownership information if the dog comes to their attention in the future.
Soon after microchipping you will receive confirmation by mail of the microchipping and a record of the microchip number. Some registry operators can provide this information by email.
You need to have the microchip registry details altered if any of your contact details change.
The Certificate of Identification you receive after your dog has been microchipped should include a Change of Particulars section which can be filled out and sent to the relevant microchip registry. Some registries provide an on-line form for this purpose.
The contact details held by the microchip registry will need to be changed if you sell or transfer ownership of a dog. The registry will need confirmation of the change from both parties.
Microchips are very small Â about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip number is stored in a database with details about your pet and your contact details.
Each microchip is individually identifiable through a unique number and can be detected using a microchip scanner. Should your dog stray, veterinary surgeries, animal shelters and councils can scan your dog for its micro-chip and contact you via the database.
It is important to advise the registry if you move or change other contact details so that you can still be contacted.
Microchips must be put in a standard location. They are placed just under the skin between the shoulder blades at the back of your dogÂs neck.
Implanting a microchip is very much like giving your dog a vaccination. It is a simple procedure that animal welfare agencies and the Australian Veterinary Association support.
Microchips are inert Â they do not contain chemicals or batteries, donÂt have any side effects, and will last the life-time of your dog.
A veterinary surgeon may exempt a dog from microchipping if he or she considers that it may adversely affect the dogÂs health and welfare.
This information is also available to download as a PDF. Download the Dog Control Act 2000 Information Sheet on Microchipping Dogs (PDF, 146KB) here.