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Microchip identification for pets
Microchipping provides a simple way of identifying animals and linking them to a particular owner. From 1 July 2006, all dogs registered in NZ for the first time will have to be micro-chipped (with exemption of working farm dogs) within two months of registration. This and other measures such as increased fines and penalties have been introduced with the intention of improving animal management and making the community a safer place. It will help Animal Control Officers (ACOs) with their job and make dog control easier and more effective.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a glass capsule about the size of a grain of rice. It contains a miniature sealed in antenna and other electronic components plus a unique unalterable 15-digit ID code. The antenna emits this code when a “Reader” is passed over it, displaying it on the Reader’s screen. In the time it takes for your pet to have an injection, like a vaccination, your veterinarian can inject the tiny microchip implant. It is a simple and quick procedure suitable for all sizes of dogs, cats, horses and other companion animals. Microchips have been proven to be safe and reliable throughout an animal’s lifetime, and so offer a level of secure identification and protection not previously available.
Why Microchip your pet?
From 1 July 2006, the Dog Control Act requires: a new puppy (3 months or older) or a dog that has never been registered in NZ or a dog that has been classified as dangerous or menacing, to be microchipped. Other animals such as cats and horses can also be microchipped. This then identifies the animal and provides proof of ownership of valuable pets, and breeding animals. It will also help safe guard your pet from becoming lost. Sadly 50% of lost pets never come home. No matter how secure you think you pet is, accidents can happen, even to conscientious and caring pet owners. Thousands of pets are lost across New Zealand by owners who don’t believe it can happen to them. YOUR MOST TREASURED PET CAN GET LOST!
Who can Microchip your pet?
As with other injections, microchipping is a simple procedure. Veterinarians, animal shelters, local council, ACOs are able to implant the chip and most are equipped with a scanner to read the Microchip ID number of your pet. Our Veterinary Clinic is an Accredited Microchipping Centre and we recommend the All-flex microchips.
Which database to register the chip?
Once the pet has been microchipped, it is important to then register this information as well as you as owner of the pet. The National Dog Database (NDD) has been created (only for dogs) as a tool to aid the powers that exist under the Dog Control Act. Its primary purpose is to store dog, owner and registration information and to track classified dogs and owners. This will allow Local Councils to share information more easily amongst themselves. This information is available during normal office hours, directly to ACOs and indirectly to veterinarians – it is not available after hours. The Australasian Animal Registry (AAR) is an existing database in Sydney that is available for all animals that have been microchipped. It is a more comprehensive database that is available 24hrs a day. Dogs must be registered on the NDD whilst it is not compulsory (but it is advisable) to register your dog/pet on the AAR.
The New Zealand Animal Registry (NZAR) was established in 2008. It has largely superseded the Australian Registry in this country. Registration is undertaken, on your behalf, by the Certified Microchip Implanter. Access to the information contained on the registry is available by phone, hard copy and Internet.
What happens if a lost pet is found?
When a lost animal has been found or taken in by the local Council or local Animal Welfare Groups (e.g. SPCA), it has become standard practice for your pet to be scanned to assess if it has been microchipped. If a chip is located and scanned, the unique number in the microchip can easily identify your pet. A request will be put in to the NDD for dogs and then the NZAR (or AAR ) if not found on the NDD. For other species we will contact the NZAR (AAR) first. The database computer then links the microchip number to your pet. A phone call notifies you of your pet’s location, allowing for fast and effective tracing. It is therefore important to keep the NDD and/or NZAR/AAR up to date with current address / contact numbers!
Another benefit of Microchipping (cats)
Many automatic cat doors are now using microchip technology. The sensor in the door detects the cats microchip so the cat no longer needs to wear a collar with a bulky magnet swinging off it in order to get inside the house. Microchip cat doors can even be programmed for individual cats. You could allow one cat outside while selectively keeping another indoors before its vet visit, for example.