Today has brought the rather bizarre news that it will soon become compulsory for all dogs in Britain to be fitted with microchips which contain their owner’s details.
The new scheme, which has gained cross party support in Parliament, is apparently designed to curb the trade in stolen dogs and reduce the large numbers of stray dogs being found on British streets.
However buried within the good intentions are provisions which will force dog owners to install the microchip or face a fine; and have their pet's name, breed, age and health along with their own address and phone number logged and stored on a national database which local councils would have access to.
While the question of how to reduce the number of stray dogs on Britain's streets is pressing, this solution is yet another example of the state's desire to accrue ever more information on its citizens (and their pets).
Databases, such as the one proposed, give countless people in local authorities easy access to very personal data; which is in itself often far more dangerous than the initial problem.
By Dylan Sharpe