Mandatory dog microchipping postponed

Dogs will have to be microchipped in Latvia starting January 1 next year. The chipping procedure will be carried out by veterinarians and inspectors of Latvia's Food and Veterinary Service (PVD), reported Latvian Radio Monday.

Previously it was thought mandatory registration of dogs would be introduced on July 1, 2016.

However rows erupted about the costs of the procedure, as Latvians had complained to the Agriculture Ministry over the high price of the procedure.

The Latvian Cynologists' Federation however claims that if an owner of a pet cannot afford a microchipping procedure, he or she cannot afford keeping a pet as well.

"Dogs aren't air, water or bread, which we can't do without. [..] If you cannot pay €15 for microchipping a dog, how can you keep the dog and pay for veterinary expenses," said Vija Klučniece, head of the federation.

However the Agriculture Ministry hopes costs will be driven down by licensing PVD inspectors - not only certified veterinarians - to place microchip implants into pets.

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