A rise in pet sales during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unfortunate accompanying increase in unauthorised behaviour from certain traders and individuals. The latest example is a website – advertised on Google search – that offers pet microchip registration.
CTSI is warning that the UK Pet Chip Registry website, which will add a pet’s details to the so-called National Pet Microchip Registration Database for a fee of £15, does not meet UK Government standards and, as such, is not on the list of government-endorsed pet databases.
CTSI Lead Officer for Animal Welfare, Steph Young, said: “It is vital that when purchasing a puppy, members of the public must register the chip on one of the 15 databases verified by the UK Government. If they do not, they risk a fine of up to £500.
“The database quoted by UK Pet Chip Registry does not conform to UK Government standards, and signing up to it alone puts the user at risk of a fine and the needless cost of the money used to pay for it. The public should always follow government guidance, not paid-for adverts on search engines.”
In November, the Dogs Trust reported large rises in demand for puppies and Google search results for “buy a puppy” increased by 115% since the beginning of lockdown.
Katherine Hart, a fellow Lead Officer at CTSI, added: “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a great deal of opportunism and in many cases outright scams. Many people suffer from loneliness during the lockdown, and purchasing a furry companion is an increasingly popular option.
“We are all so much more vulnerable now. The public must be increasingly vigilant, sceptical and above all, check the law and UK Government advice when making these decisions. Ignorance of the law excuses no one – make sure you register your pet on a verified database.”