Japan passes bill requiring microchipping of pets to reduce strays
Japan Times -- Jun 13
The Diet on Wednesday passed a bill requiring dog and cat breeders to microchip animals, and owners to voluntarily do the same to their pets, in a bid to reduce the number of strays.

The pet microchipping rules will take effect in three years after the promulgation of the revised animal protection law, which also toughened penalties for people found guilty of abusing animals. A number of serious cases in which people have shared videos of abuse created momentum for the change.

Those found to have injured or killed a pet could be subject to imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to ¥5 million ($46,100), increased from the previous penalty of up to 2 years in prison or a fine of up to ¥2 million.

The new law also bans the sale of dogs and cats until they are at least 56 days old, as experts have pointed out that animals separated from their mother early in their lives tend to bite more and develop other problems.

A similar regulation is already in place in parts of Europe. Before the change, dogs and cats were unable to be sold in Japan until they were at least 49 days old.

Direct sales between breeders and owners of protected species of Japanese dogs, including Shiba and Akita dogs, are not subject to the new rules.

参議院本会議で12日、犬や猫にマイクロチップを埋め込むことを義務付ける改正動物愛護法が全会一致で可決・成立した。マイクロチップには、飼い主の情報などが記録されていて、捨て犬や捨て猫を防ぐほか、災害などでペットが迷子になった際に役立つという。マイクロチップはブリーダーから飼い主に販売されるまでの間に埋め込むことが義務付けられ、改正法の公布から3年以内に施行される。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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