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Vets to scan prior to euthanasia for Rescue Back up and confirm keeper details

Submitted by Sue Williams on Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Published on Wednesday 4th March 2020

Current status: Closed

Closed: Friday 4th September 2020

Signatures: 121,140

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Vets to scan prior to euthanasia for Rescue Back up and confirm keeper details

Petition Details

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

Additional Information

Vets must be legally required to scan for rescue back up contact details on microchips and confirm the person presenting the animal is registered on the microchip. Rescue Back Up must be contacted and honoured

Tuks Law request vets:

Scan microchips prior to euthanising a healthy/treatable animal.

Confirm keeper details on original database of unknown animals presented for euthanasia.

Seek alternative options in non life threatening/non emergency situations.

If an unsubstantiated reason for euthanasia is made corroborating evidence is required.

On government endorsed databases a prefix is to be added to microchips to identify dual registration of rescue animals.


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Thursday 7th May 2020

The Government understands the distress that the death of a pet can cause and is considering scanning requirements, as part of the Post Implementation Review of the microchipping regulations.

We agree that no dog should be put down unless there are extenuating reasons for having to do so.

Paragraphs 8.9 and 8.10 of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Conduct provides advice to vets on euthanizing animals when the owner is not present. A link to the RCVS’ Code of Conduct can be found here:


Every responsible dog owner wants to ensure their pet is safe and microchips are often the only hope of finding dogs that are lost or stolen. It is a legal requirement for all owners to microchip their dogs, and to enter the details onto a database. Since compulsory microchipping for dogs came into force in 2016, we have seen a clear drop in the number of stray dogs on the streets and an increase in the number of lost or stolen pets reunited with their owners.

British Veterinary Association (BVA) best practice is that vets should scan dogs on first presentation at their practice, and at other regular intervals including prior to euthanasia, where euthanasia is deemed the appropriate course of action by the veterinary expert. BVA’s website sets out their position on scanning:


The guidance includes advice on what a vet should do if the details of the person presenting the dog are different to what is recorded on the database, and what to do when stray or lost animals are brought to the practice by checking the microchipping databases in order to reunite the animal with their owner.

Although the Government considers that advice from BVA and RCVS provides veterinary professionals with helpful guidance on conducting appropriate scanning, the Government is considering proposals for the compulsory scanning of dogs before euthanasia by vets as part of the ongoing Post Implementation Review of The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300025)

Parliamentary Debate

This petition has reached the threshold for a Parliamentary debate, but the debate has not yet been scheduled.

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