Feeds

UK pol touts canine chip implants

Doggies digitized for your protection

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Even if your beloved Westie is spending her declining years curled up by the hearth, Home Secretary Alan Johnson suggests she should be microchipped for the protection of her potential victims, and you should pony up for dog-attack insurance.

So goes a proposal that Johnson has floated for consultation in response to what the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has identified as a surge in dog attacks - up 12-fold between 2004 and 2008, according to the RSPCA.

"Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but people have a fundamental right to feel safe on the streets and in their homes," Johnson was quoted in Tuesday's Guardian. "The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but there is no doubt that some people breed and keep dogs for the sole purpose of intimidating others, in a sense using dogs as a weapon."

The Guardian's Michael White implies that Johnson may have revealed his own personal prejudice in his proposal, noting in his "Politics Blog" that Johnson is himself "a twice-bitten ex-postie".

The proposal would require dog owners to have a tiny chip - presumably an RFID - implanted between their doggies' shoulder blades that would contain the dog's personal ID number, plus information on its name, age, breed, and health, along with its owner's name, address, and phone number. Standard fees for such chippery range from £10 to £35.

In addition to this doggie digitizing, owners would be required to buy liability insurance in case their four-legged friend should go all Cujo on some unfortunate passer-by. Such insurance, according to the Daily Express, could run from £180 to £600 per year - fees which could rise if such insurance were made mandantory, according to the Kennel Club’s communications director, Caroline Kisko.

The proposal would be an update to the oft-maligned Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, which banned the breeding, advertising, sale, or exchange of Japanese tosas, fila brasileiros, and dogo argentinos, and heavily restricted ownership of pit bull terriers.

Parts of Home Secretary Johnson's reasoning for the proposal is, to put it kindly, a wee bit convoluted. As he told the Express: "We deal with things like guns and drugs and knives, and they're easily concealed. The thing about dogs is that they're not very easily concealed."

Indeed - unless, of course, it's that cute little Westie in mum's market bag.

Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch, however, derides the entire effort as "the very latest in 'you couldn't make it up' nanny statism". He also doesn't think it will fly. As he blogged: "You can tax us to high heaven, you can authorise bullying policemen to push us from pillar to post - people in this country just take it. But any man who messes with the great British pet is a fool - they simply won't manage to enforce this one." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.