Marking of dogs, cats and ferrets is mandatory from 1 May: what is the importance of pet identification?

After the amendments to the Law on Welfare and Protection of Animals (hereinafter – Law) being adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, from 1 May 2021, a mandatory microchipping of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) and their registration in the Register of Pet Animals enters into force.

The Law stipulates that by 1 May 2021, the pet animals are required to be marked and registered in the Register of Pet Animals within one year –  until 1 May 2022, but not later than the transfer of the animal to another owner or keeper, and from the date of entry into force of the Law (1 May 2021) – within 4 months from their birth, but not later than the transfer of the animal to another owner or keeper. The breeders of pet animals using them for breeding must mark and register them  in the Register of Pet Animals by 1 September 2021.

The overall marking of pets is currently applied in most countries of the European Union.

The marking of a pet with a rice grain-sized chip under the skin and registering the data of the pet and its owner in a unified Register of Pet Animals is a clear benefit for the pet owners, as follows:

• in particular, the identification of the animal and its traceability, which is necessary for the prevention, monitoring and control of communicable diseases, such as rabies, being incurable and dangerous for the carnivorous animals and humans, and other diseases,

•  if the animal is lost, it can be found more quickly,

•  facilitation of the animal travel, non-commercial movement of animals between the countries,

•  registration and traceability of the animal treatment, vaccination against infectious diseases and other provided veterinary procedures,

•  fewer homeless and unattended animals, etc.

According to veterinary experts, the procedure for marking the pets is very simple –  a tiny microchip is inserted under the skin by a special hypodermic needle and stays forever. It is not visible and the animal does not feel anything. This procedure is very fast and does not cause any local reaction within the implantion area for the animal.

In order to identify an animal, a reader shall be placed at the spot of the microchip and the unique number, which can be used to identify the hosts of the animal, appears on the screen. Such microchip readers are available at many veterinary clinics and animal shelters.

By the way, it is important to know that for the marking of an animal to be effective, the microchip must be linked to the information about the specific animal and its owner, i. e. it is necessary to register the animal in the state Register of Pet Animals.