Larne Council calls for dog tags to be abolished

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Larne Borough Council has backed a proposal to abolish dog collar identification tags.

The coloured tags – issued by the local authority when dog owners apply for an annual licence – are currently a legal requirement.

But with micro-chipping of dogs now compulsory in Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is consulting with local councils on whether there is a need to retain the identification tags.

DARD presented three options to local councils, including retaining the dual system of tags and micro-chipping for a further four-year period; maintaining the current system until the end of 2016 to assist with the settling in of the new super-councils (due to come into effect from April 2015); or abolish the need for coloured ID tags from January 2015.

Larne Borough Council has indicated its support for the latter option.

The tags cost about 25p each, with an annual cost to Larne Council of about £1,400.

The larger cost associated with the tags is the administrative costs of attaching them to the dog license, as well as the postage costs.

According to the Department, removal of the requirement for ID tags would allow for a more streamlined process of receiving licenses electronically.

The council has also supported a proposed review of the dog license fees, which are currently £12.50.