3.2.13. 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 the individual dog level or at the municipal level. The structure of this framework will vary from country to country and the rabies epidemiological situation (e.g. rabies elimination programmes in the planning, starting, ongoing or achieved phases). Each country should design a programme in accordance with the scope and relevant criteria to ensure that the dogs are registered and can be traced. Dog identification may serve to distinguish between vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations or animals, trace dog owners in the event of a biting incident or re-trace a notorious, free-roaming dog. Animal identification, traceability and movement should be under the responsibility of Veterinary Services. Recommendations on how to address stray and feral dog populations is available here.

The legal framework for dog identification should include:
- Desired outcomes and scope
- Obligations of the veterinary authority and other parties (municipalities, police, owners)
- Organizational structures 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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WSPA = World Society for the Protection of Animals (now World Animal Protection)




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