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 the rabies epidemiological situation (e.g. planning, starting, ongoing or achieved rabies elimination programmes). Each country should design a programme in accordance with the scope and relevant criteria to ensure that the desired dog registry or traceability can be achieved. Dog identification may serve to distinguish between vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations or animals, trace dog owners in case of a biting incident 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).
Organizational 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.