I led a group of dog-loving members of Parliament, supported by the UK’s leading animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, introduced a Private Members Bill in Parliament to create a national register of ‘doggie DNA’ as a long term alternative to microchipping, creating a more modern solution to combat the growing scourge of dog theft as well as lost pets, ownership disputes and ‘puppy mills’.
As well as seeking to make DNA collection mandatory, the Bill will also unify the various existing microchip databases, which hold data in inconsistent formats as they are administered by a variety of commercial entities. A standardisation of these databases has been supported by The Dogs’ Trust, Battersea Dogs Home and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The DNA database would be achieved by a ten-year-long phasing in, allowing the DNA database to build up via the natural registration of new puppies, the costs of tests to reduce, and the existing chip registers to be formatted more consistently ahead of unification and the mandatory registration.
The RSPCA commented “A ‘doggie DNA’ database alongside bringing all the microchip databases into one, could streamline the process of registering dogs, making this easier for owners and authorities and vets to get the information they need.”