RIGA - 126,437 dogs, 4,529 cats and 91 ferrets in Latvia have microchip implants, according to the Agricultural Data Center.
The Agriculture Ministry points out that a microchip implant makes it far easier for animal shelters to find the owners of a missing pet. If a pet brought to an animal shelter does not have a microchip implant, the shelter tries to find the owners through the mass media. In case the pet's owners do not show up in two weeks, the shelter has the right to give the pet to another person, keep it at the shelter, hand it over to another shelter, or put it to sleep.
However, animal shelters report that many dogs in Latvia still do not have microchip implants and are not registered with the Agricultural Data Center's pet register.
According to regulations on pet registration procedure that came into force last year, all dogs in Latvia must have microchip implants and be registered with the Agricultural Data Center's pet register. If a dog has no microchip implant, the owner may be fined EUR 7 to EUR 210 (for private individuals) or EUR 15 to EUR 350 (for legal entities).