Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:10 UK

Tenant dogs must be microchipped

A pit bull terrier
New tenants must agree to the move or face eviction

Council tenants in a south-west London borough will be unable to have a pet dog unless it has been microchipped, under new rules.

Wandsworth Council will perform the procedure for free after concern about the lack of control on dog ownership.

Inserted under the dog's skin, the microchip enables owners to be easily identified if their dog becomes lost or attacks a person or another animal.

Council leader Edward Lister said: "We have got to get a grip on the problem."

Two serious dog attacks have taken place in the borough over the past year, Mr Lister said, and the owners of the animals lived in council-owned property.

Youths have also been seen training dogs to fight each other on one of the council's housing estates.

'Draconian'

"Ninety-nine per cent of our tenants are totally responsible about their animals but there is this small element which we have got to get a grip on," he told BBC London.

Under the move new council tenants in Wandsworth must agree to have their dogs microchipped under the terms of their tenancy or face eviction.

The council aims to extend the requirement to all its housing estate tenants over the next 12 months, a move that would affect 16,000 people.

"It is very draconian and we do not apologise for that," Mr Lister told BBC London.

The RSPCA and London's Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have supported the microchipping of pets.

Earlier this month the RSPCA said the number of dog fights reported had risen 15-fold in four years, from 24 to 348.


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