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Brief history of dog licensing (UK)

Dog licensing was established and became mandatory in 1878, marking a historical moment with non-compliance resulting in fines.

Licenses were valid for 12 months and required dogs to wear collars and name tags, subject to fines for non-compliance. However, in 1987, dog licensing was discontinued due to widespread non-compliance. Despite the legal obligation, fewer than half of dog owners obtained licenses.

License fees supported local authorities, remaining unchanged until its abolishment, ultimately costing more to enforce than the revenue generated.

The final rate for a dog license was 37 pence, adjusted from 37½p in 1984 due to the elimination of the halfpenny. This rate was a direct conversion from seven shillings and sixpence after decimalisation in 1971.

Nowadays, people often microchip their dogs, although it’s not compulsory, providing a form of identification for pets.

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