All pets in Seoul must be registered
By Yun Suh-young
All pets in the capital must have identification numbers from next year, according to the Seoul city government, Sunday.
The municipal authorities said that all pet owners will be obliged to register their pets at designated animal hospitals from Jan. 1 as part of steps to try and curb the practice of owners abandoning their pets and to ease the process of returning them if they are lost.
The measure comes after the ordinance on the protection of abandoned animals was made public on Sept. 28 in line with the revision of the Animal Protection Law of August 2011.
“The animal registration system will be implemented starting next year to increase the responsibility of pet owners to take care of their pets and thus reduce the number of abandoned animals,” said Kim Seon-gu, director at the animal protection division at City Hall.
“It will also be helpful in keeping track of the vaccination status of animals and prevent the emergence of rabies,” Kim added.
“Seoul has a high percentage of households with pets. We hope the system is successfully settled so that we will have zero abandoned animals,” he said.
There are 16,000 abandoned animals every year which increases rescue costs and causes various social problems as well as inconvenience, according to the city government. Countries like the United States, Australia, Japan and Taiwan already have an animal registration system in place.
The registration of animals will be mandatory for owners of pets aged over 3 months. Those who violate the law will be fined up to 400,000 won.
Owners can register their pets at designated animal hospitals within their districts. The designated hospitals can be viewed at district office websites.
Owners can choose to either insert a microchip in their pets, have them wear an electronic collar, or attach a name tag to them with the name and phone number of the owner.
The first option is the most widely used method internationally and known to be the most accurate and long lasting. A microchip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the skin between the shoulders of the animal. It contains the identification details of the animal which are then entered into the national register. It costs 20,000 won to register for this method.
The electronic collar has an identification microchip inside the pendant and costs 15,000 won to register. The name tag costs 10,000 won to register but the tag must be individually prepared by the owner.
The microchip and electronic collar are provided by district offices.
For those with disabilities registering an assistance pet or for those registering an adopted pet, the registration is free of charge. Also, if the animal already has a microchip or has been neutered, the registration is half price.