Stop Compulsory Microchipping of Dogs
Legislation was introduced into Northern Ireland in March 2011 under NIA 20/09 Dog (Amendment) Bill making it compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped. This legislation will be implemented by councils from April 2012. 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust is totally opposed to compulsory microchipping and would ask that you sign our petition to repeal this clause in the Bill. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The reasons why we are opposed to this are listed below.
Adverse effects to the animal’s health caused by microchips:
· Carcinomas (cancer) forming around the implant site
· Soft tissue damage
· Potential internal damage caused by occasional breaking of glass casing surrounding the microchip or dislodgement of implant
· Injuries caused by insertion of the microchip by non qualified persons
Other known problems associated with microchips are:
· Migration of the microchip so that it cannot be read by scanners
· Faulty scanners unable to read the microchip
· Electrical currents created by the metal in the implants can cause potential severe burns when carrying out MRI scans. The MRI scan’s own instructions state that the microchipped patient must not undergo MRI if they are unconscious
· Any change in owner must be updated on a microchip database, at a cost
· Registration of a pet on the database does not prove ownership
· Only scanners are able to trace the person they are registered to, so there will be a delays in reuniting if found by a member of the public
History of microchipping:
· Original reason was to curb dangerous dogs
· Expanded to include stray, abandoned dogs
· Final Bill makes it compulsory for every dog to be microchipped
Myth verses Evidence
It is safe to microchip
Various scientific studies have concluded that there is a risk of between 1% and 10% of animals developing cancer due to the implant.
RSPCA estimates there are 2 million dogs in the UK. Even if a conservative 2% figure is used, by these studies, 160000 dogs will develop malignant tumours.
There is also evidence of soft tissue damage, allergies and infection. Please see websites below for scientific evidence and case studies:
Why take this risk when microchipping is an unnecessary medical procedure?
Myth verses Reality
It will help curtail the problem of dangerous dogs
Dangerous dog owners are irresponsible therefore they will not get their dogs microchipped.
People who like to own aggressive dogs for dog fighting or the perverted kudos it gives them will go to illegal sources, thus encouraging a market in which illegal breeders will thrive. The practices of these breeders, in themselves, will inevitably cause more distress, disease and often death to the dogs involved.
Compulsory microchipping is not needed to curtail dangerous dogs as legislation already exists but is rarely enforced.
It will help reunite owners with their lost dogs
This is the most pervasive myth concerning microchipping.
Firstly for those dogs that are genuinely lost, a name tag on the dog’s collar is sufficient and is already legislated for.
In addition, this is actually more efficient than a microchip as a member of the public can return it to the owner immediately, whereas in the case of a microchipped dog the member of the public must take it to a dog warden, council pound, vet, animal charities to get it scanned. None provide a 24-hour service, therefore what happens outside these hours? The member of the public can either take the dog home with them, which is not always practical or abandon it again. Either way there will be a delay in getting the dog back to its owner.
For those dogs that are simply allowed to roam the streets unaccompanied with their owner’s knowledge, legislation already exists. The only benefit of microchipping in this case would be to track down the owners and penalise them. (Remember microchipping does not prove ownership and could lead to costly legal disputes). It would have to be a substantial fine to deter them. However, if it is too high, the person will simply abandon the dog permanently by handing over to the council or take it to the vet to be put down which could be cheaper. After all, if owners are unconcerned that their dog could get run over by roaming, it is unlikely they will worry about the dog getting put down if it saves them money.
In reality, the vast majority of dogs which end up in pounds and charities are there because their owners no longer want them. Microchipping will not and cannot ever solve this problem.
When all the myths have been dispelled, the only reason left for introducing compulsory microchipping is money. The microchipping industry has already stated that a profit of between 200-400% can be made by microchipping for those carrying it out. Who knows what the profit margins are for the manufacturers.
Then there is the cost to the owner. Once microchipping is made compulsory, the owners will have to pay whatever cost, however substantial, to have their dog implanted. There are also the additional charges incurred every time you change your personal details or register yourself as a new owner on the database. In this financial climate any additional costs will only lead to more dogs being abandoned.
What you can do:
· Lobby your local MP/MLAs to repeal compulsory microchipping.
· Sign this petition.
· Discuss the risks and adverse effects the microchip can have on your pet’s health with your vet, before it is implanted.
· If you have an animal which has already been microchipped, check for lumps near to the implant site and get your vet to check this regularly. Supplement your pet’s diet with linseed or flaxseed which are reputed to help slow, reduce or prevent cancer growths.
· If you think your animal may have suffered any injury or adverse reaction to the implant, consider your legal options and ensure your vet reports it to the Microchip Advisory Group.
Anyone who loves animals cannot fail to support this unnecessary procedure putting the welfare of animals at risk.