Frequently Asked Questions – Microchipping

​​Q1. Who can own a dog?

A1.  Any person eighteen years old or over and able to take charge of a dog can own a dog. This age restriction does not apply to blind persons.


Q2. By which age should dog be microchipped and licensed?

A2. Any dog at the age of four months or over should be microchipped and licensed. Dogs may be microchipped and licensed before the age of 4 months.


Q3. How does an owner microchip and license a dog?

A3.  The owner should take his dog to a warranted veterinarian for the insertion of a microchip. The veterinarian will then take care of informing the Director Veterinary Regulation with the details of the owner and the details pertaining to the dog including the microchip number. The details will be inserted into the National Livestock Database and a licence will be issued by the Veterinary Regulation Directorate. The registered owner of the dog will then receive the licence by post. 


Q4. What other legal obligations are important with regards to the identification of dogs?

A4.  The owner or keeper of a dog must ensure that the dog wears a tag or a badge bearing the owner’s or keeper’s telephone number and it shall be worn at all times when the dog is in a public place.


Q5. How does a person notify a missing or lost licensed dog?

A5.  The owner or keeper has to notify the Director Veterinary Regulation within forty-eight hours in the case of the loss of a licensed dog. This notification has to be done on a form which may be downloaded from the following link: 

Report of Missing Pets​



The notification may be delivered by hand or sent by mail to the following address: Microchipping Unit, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Regulation Department, Abattoir Street Albertown, Marsa MRS1123.

In addition may also file a police report of a missing dog in particular where there is suspicion that the the dog may have been stolen.


Q6. How does a person notify the transfer of a microchipped and licensed dog to a new owner ?

A6.  The owner or keeper has to notify the Director Veterinary Regulation within 7 calendar days from when a licensed dog is transferred by its owner or keeper. This notification has to be done on a form which may be downloaded from the following link: 



The notification may be delivered by hand or sent by mail to the following address: Microchipping Unit, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Regulation Department, Abattoir Street Albertown, Marsa MRS1123.


Q7. How does a person notify the death microchipped and licensed dog?

A7.  The owner or keepers have to notify the Director for Veterinary Services within 7 calendar days from when a licensed dog dies. This notification has to be done on a form which may be downloaded from the following link: 



The notification may be delivered by hand or sent by mail to the following address: Microchipping Unit, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Regulation Department, Abattoir Street Albertown, Marsa MRS1123.


Q8. What are the fees applicable for licensing of dogs?

A8.  The fees applicable for the licensing of dogs and bitches is €20 per dog if not neutered or €10 per neutered dog (Schedule A of LN199/2011). The fees for every dog are paid only once and cover a lifetime licence. The prescribed fee covers the cost of the microchip and its insertion and its inclusion in a database and it is paid to the warranted veterinarian following microchipping.


Q9. Are there categories of persons who are exempt from paying the licensing fees?

A9.  Yes, persons who are visually impaired and disabled persons who keep a guide dog or an assistance dog shall be issued with a licence at no cost, regardless of the age restriction of 10years of age for keeping a dog.


Q10.  What is the procedure to be followed if a dog is found?

A10. Any person, who takes possession of a stray dog shall: 

(a) if the dog is injured and in physical distress, make the necessary arrangements for it to receive veterinary care; and 
(b) if the dog is not injured – 
  • return the dog to its owner or keeper, if known; or 
  • deliver the dog to the nearest police station and inform the Police officer in charge, of the place where the dog was found; 
  • deliver the dog to a registered sanctuary, where it shall be ascertained whether the dog has been microchipped and, in any case, where the dog shall be retained for at least seven days to allow its owner to claim it back before sheltering or rehoming it; or 
  • if wishing to retain the dog as a new owner, take the dog to the nearest police station to report where the dog was found and ascertain whether the dog has been microchipped and it already has an owner, and, if this is not the case, the provisions of regulation 7 shall apply to such new owner.

Any Police Officer or the Director Veterinary Regulation may seize any stray dog and detain it until its owner or keeper claims it, produces the licence relating to it and pays all expenses incurred by reason of its detention. If the dog is not claimed or the licence relating to such dog is not produced, or is such expenses are not paid within seven days of seizure, the dog may disposed of by the Police.


Q11.  What are the fines applicable for non-conformance with the microchipping regulations?

A11. 
a. Any person in possession of a dog who fails to electronically identify such a dog with the Department in terms of these regulations, or any person or entity submitting incorrect, incomplete or false information in the registration form, shall be liable to a fine (multa) of three hundred euro (€300). 
b. In the event that an electronically identified dog fails to provide a reading intrascapulae of the said microchip, the owner or any person in possession of the dog is liable to a fine (multa) of five hundred euro (€500), unless it is proved by the owner or person in possession of the dog, that the microchip is still located within some other part of the dog.


Q12. Whom should I contact if I find a stray dog and want to check who the owner or keeper of the dog is?

A12. If a person finds a stray dog and wants to check its ownership he or she may firstly check if the badge contains the details of the contact number of owner of keeper of the dog and may directly contact the owner or keeper of the dog.  If the dog has no collar badge, one can contact the Animal Welfare Promotion and Services Directorate by dialling the short code 1717 (Animal Welfare helpline - operative 24 hours round the clock, 7 days a week). 

The Animal Welfare Officers shall scan the dog for the microchip and if electronically identified, the Directorate will take care of tracing the ownership of the dog and shall make the necessary arrangements for the return of the dog to it’s owner. It’s important to note that the Animal Welfare Promotion and Services Directorate shall not detain the dog if that dog is not electronically identified; in that case the procedure as per answer to Question 10 above has to be followed.

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