Using microchips to help reunite animals with their owners
1. Microchips are implanted in companion animals to assist with their return if lost or stolen and veterinary surgeons are frequently the first point of contact for those owners whose animals are missing.
2. A microchip may be scanned in circumstances where, for example:
the animal has been lost or is a stray,
it is suspected that the animal has been stolen, or
where a client is unaware that the animal has been microchipped.
3. Veterinary surgeons are encouraged to take appropriate steps to reunite the animal with the owner and if necessary contact the relevant database, for example, the PetLog Reunification Service (Tel 0844 4633 999 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. If it is suspected that the animal is stolen, veterinary surgeons or the owner may involve the police.
5. An ownership dispute may arise where a client presents an animal with a microchip registered in another person's name. With their consent, both parties to the dispute can be put in touch with each other.
6. If a client declines to consent to the release of his or her name and contact details and details of the animal and microchip, a veterinary surgeon should breach client confidentiality to pass the necessary information to the PetLog Reunification Service. * [If the registered owner declines to consent to the release of his or her name and contact details these should be known to the Petlog Reunification Service.]
7. PetLog Reunification Service will then seek to reunite the animal with the registered owner or update the relevant database.
* The Petlog Reunification Service provides a standard form for veterinary surgeons to provide information to the service.
The Petlog Reunification Service indicates: 'In the unlikely event that the Carer [client] is not willing for their details to be released or refuses to agree to return the animal they will be informed that the Registered Owner will be advised to seek legal advice. On instruction from a Solicitor or the Police PetLog can release details.'
Professional Conduct Department 13 Feb 2003
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