Making micro chipping compulsory for of all puppies does not go far enough, dog walkers in the district say.

Government ministers plan make it illegal for pets not to be fitted with the devices, which carry a unique identification number, with the aim of cutting the number of strays and making it easier to find irresponsible owners.

Susan Evans, 60, who runs her own dog walking and pet care business Animal Evans from her home in Colson Road, Loughton, said: “For honest people, it can be very beneficial.

“I’ve worked with horses, which have to have them, and it’s worked for thefts.

“But if the owner changes addresses and doesn’t tell the vet, they can’t update the microchip records.

“So if anyone is criminal, they can still get away with it.”

Michele Davies, of Cascade Road in Buckhurst Hill, who has a collie called Fleck, said: “It’s a very good idea, but like everything else, it needs to be enforced.

“Unless there are people doing spot-checks, it’s going to be hard.

“You need complete dog licensing, with a breeders’ licence. You can’t sell a TV without giving the name of the people who bought it and it should be the same with dogs.”

Laws governing dogs on all public land, including Epping Forest, came into force last month, making it illegal not to pick up animals’ mess, forcing dog walkers to put their pets on leads if told to by a ranger and limiting the number walked at one time to four.

But Ms Davies said she had not seen much of a change in behaviour since the rules came into force.

The 65-year-old added: “I can’t see anybody policing them. I have challenged a couple of people myself.

“But I don’t see much dog poo, considering the number dogs that are walked.”