Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man scraps dog licences for micro-chipping costing up to £20

Dog walker with dog Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Manx dog owners have been given six months to comply

Dog licences are to be scrapped on the Isle of Man in favour of mandatory micro-chipping, said the government.

The law change, which comes into force on 1 April, brings an end to an annual licence fee which costs up to £20.

Under the new rules, all dogs of eight weeks or older must be chipped by a "suitably qualified person".

Manx Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot said the changes would reduce the cost of dog ownership on the island by about £200 over a pet's lifetime.

Compulsory micro-chipping for all pets was introduced in the UK two years ago.

Image caption Micro-chipping must be carried out by a suitably qualified person

It is a one-off procedure that sees a small electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted under a dog's skin.

Each chip carries a unique code, which can be read by a scanner, giving information about a dog's registered owner.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons told the BBC that the cost of micro-chipping is "not standardised" in the British Isles, which means veterinary practices are free to charge their own fee.

A spokesman added that the price should "reflect the amount of work needed for the procedure, something which can vary from animal to animal".

The Manx government said there will be a six-month "lead-in period" after which non-compliant owners can be fined £500.

Unlike the current licensing system, there will be no exemptions for working dogs.

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