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3.2.12 What laws and recommendations are available for dog identification and registry?

Veterinary authorities, along with other relevant governmental agencies, and in consultation with stakeholders, may establish a legal framework for the implementation and enforcement of a dog identification system, at individual dog level or at the municipality level. The structure of this framework will vary from country to country and will depend on the rabies epidemiological situation (e.g. whether rabies elimination programmes are in the planning stages, have been started, are ongoing or have been achieved).

Each country should design a programme with appropriate scope and with relevant criteria, to ensure that the desired levels of dog registry or traceability are achievable. Dog identification can help distinguish between vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations or animals, and help to trace dog owners in the case of bites or re-trace a notoriously free-roaming dog. Animal identification, traceability and movement should be under the responsibility of the Veterinary Services.

The legal framework for dog identification should address:
• Desired outcomes and scope.
• Obligations of the veterinary authority and other parties (municipalities, police, owners).
• Organisational arrangements and the choice of technologies and methods used for dog identification.
• Management of dog movement within the country and between countries, seasonal restrictions etc.
• Confidentiality of data on dogs and owners (i.e. who has access to the data).
• Checking, verification, inspection of dog identification, and possible penalties.
• Funding mechanisms and arrangements to support a pilot project on dog identification, where relevant.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012