Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney outlined the scheme yesterday under which a compulsory microchipping programme will be rolled out on a phased basis from this September, beginning with pups, before being expanded to all dogs in March 2016.
Minister Coveney said: “It will provide a basic tool to protect the welfare of all dogs and assist with uniting stray dogs with their owners.
“It will act as a deterrent to those who abandon dogs and assist in identifying marauding dogs and those that pose a threat to livestock or people.”
The plan, contained in legislation which would mean data on dogs being stored with a number of approved private databases, was given a broad welcome by animal welfare groups.
Dogs Trust executive director, Mark Beazley, said the move marked “a breakthrough for dog welfare in Ireland”, while the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association also welcomed the news. Its chairman, John Brooks, said microchipping would help guard against dog attacks on sheep.