I propose to take Questions Nos. 494 to 496, inclusive, together.
Four companies were authorised to register owner details of dog microchips by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine. They do not provide data to the Department and there is therefore no central database maintained within my Department. However, all of these companies provide details of the chips they hold to Euro Pet Net which is a group of national and local associations based across Europe which register owner information about pets that have been uniquely identified. This directs Dog Wardens or other such persons who have scanned a dog to the appropriate database to identify the dog owner.
While the microchips themselves are of a standard numeric and technological format across Europe, the dog microchipping system in Northern Ireland operates on a quite distinct basis. The UK has approximately thirteen databases operating and does not currently require registration with a centralised clearing house such as Euro Pet Net to identify which database holds a particular dogs information. Some UK databases are part of Euro Pet Net however.
Both buyer and seller are required to update the ownership details with the relevant database.