There are moves afoot in the UK to legislate for compulsory microchipping of dogs.
The AVMC cannot support this. While we sincerely want to reduce the stray dog problem, bring irresponsible ‘owners' to book, reduce the dangerous dogs nuisance and secure the return of ‘lost' dogs to their rightful homes, we cannot support compulsory microchipping as the way forward. Ever since the introduction of microchips for dogs, we have declined to jump on this bandwagon and we have never offered a microchipping service.
A personal reaction is:
- The welfare of the individual dog is the first stumbling block. The needle required for insertion is a large object, with a cutting edge. I could not insert this into myself; I don't have the courage or resilience for such an elective trauma. Our dogs trust us. I don't know how I could submit my own dog for this procedure. Make no mistake, this is a painful procedure.
- The health risks have not been properly researched.
- The system is far from fool-proof.*
- Official databases are notoriously flawed
- Official databases are notoriously insecure.
- The profitability for so many people in the chain is very attractive and can affect judgement.
- A great many dogs are in caring homes and will never be a nuisance to anyone. Can you imagine 90 year-old Aunt Madge's Chihuahua ever causing ANYONE a problem?
- A great many caring dog ‘owners' will frankly not be able to afford the cost of microchipping or should not be asked to do so.
- It is symptomatic of an administration which is taking more and more control of private lives, in an insidious fashion. It would reduce personal liberty and increase government control.
- It could provide an opportunity for tracking, with developing technology – not just tracking the dog but the person with the dog.
For those interested in looking more deeply into this or even in taking a political stand, there is a new web site available: http://www.chipmenot.org.uk/
*We recently saw a Spaniel, whose microchip had broken or become dysfunctional. This dog had to undergo a new course of vaccination under the Pet Passport Scheme and now has a severely damaged immune system. We hope that homeopathy will be able to help this unfortunate dog and early reports are thankfully positive.