DOG owners will be prosecuted if they fail to get their pets microchipped by the 2016 deadline.
Speaking at the launch of the National Microchipping Month, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney (inset) warned pet owners to ensure their dogs were correctly microchipped. This became law last year.
Although there are options for penalties in the legislation for those who fail to comply, Mr Coveney said that he does not want this to "turn into a prosecution issue".
"We have two and a quarter years to put systems in place to allow for people to get their animals chipped so it becomes the norm," he said. He said he was the proud owner of a rescue dog named Teddy, and is very aware of the importance of this legislation for the protection of pet dogs.
"Dogs that get abandoned, dogs that get abused, we need to know where they have come from, who owns them and who is responsible for them so we can hold them to account."
National Microchipping Month is promoting the "subsidised and free microchipping" of dogs throughout September at hundreds of locations around the country.
As well as being encouraged to have their pets chipped, owners are also being asked to check if newly acquired pets were already chipped and to ensure that the animals' details were added to the national database.
RTE newscaster Sharon Ni Bheolain launched the campaign. She said that microchipping your dog was an "essential part of pet ownership".
She was reluctant to comment on the radio rivalry between her colleague Sean O'Rourke and former colleague Pat Kenny, but admitted that she is "fans of both", and wished them both well.
The 'Six One' co-host also said she would miss David McCullagh as he now takes up presenting duties with 'Prime Time', describing his move as "our loss, but 'Prime Time's' gain".