Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Microchipping Dogs

With the new regulations going into force I felt the need to have my rant about where I stand on the issue.


Personally I think the mandatory chipping of all dogs is a pointless and bureaucratic attempt to attack the wrong problem in a completely ineffective manner.  The stated purpose of the micro-chipping / registration is to reduce the incidence of dog attacks, particularly against young children.  However how does the identification of dog and owner by registered vets / dog control officers help to reduce this problem? To allude to the oft used quote - this can be no better than an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff.  And I would further question how frequently there is a dog in "custody" after an attack that cannot be identified or tracked to the owner.  Certainly this has not been the case in ANY of the high profile dog attacks that have led to the new regulations being brought into action.


To re-iterate an earlier point that might have been missed - only people using a microchip reader can even try to see whether the dog is even chipped - let alone find out the details.  At least with the collar registration there is a visual indication of whether a dog is registered or not.  And microchipping is in fact no better than standard registration at identifying the CURRENT CONTROLLER of the dog - if a dog is sold / stolen / etc then there are no guarantees that the registration details will be updated to reflect this.  So the only thing we have actually done is prove beyond a doubt what dog this is, whereas registration tags can be swapped between dogs.  But I would again stress that this "advantage" does not actually help to identify a dog in the case of an attack unless the dog is apprehended.  At which stage the point is moot.


If anyone can raise a single reason why micro-chipping helps the safety of the community I may change my mind - but I don't see it happening.  And please don't bang away about stricter enforcement - that does not rely on chipping, it relies on stricter enforcement....


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7 comments:

burt said...

I think a good example of the validity of your point is the 'bar code' on our vehicle registration stickers.

These bar codes contain all the details for the registration label and the vehicle VIN number in a form that can be read by a scanner to detect
a: label forgery and
b: identify stolen vehicles or vehicles who's owners are of particular interest to Police.

This was a key objective used to justify the LTSA investment in the new Motor Vehicle Registration system mid 1990's.

Ever seen the Police using scanners in road side vehicle checks ?

iiq374 said...

I'd always wondered about the point in the barcode ;-)
Of course the other question would be does the barcode actually contain the info - or does it point to a database record that contains the info?
IE do you only need a handheld scanner - or a scanner with a connection to the registration db....

burt said...

It contains the physical info. Only a scanner is required to validate the details as printed on the label or to check the vehicle VIN number as recorded in the registry compared to the VIN physically on the car.

More sophisticated usage would require interaction with other systems. (is vehicle stolen, owner of interest etc)

iiq374 said...

Kind of cool really - but also completely pointless ;-)

burt said...

So now we see the dogs are just a test market.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3621617a13,00.html

Jeff Kozlowski said...

I'd rather see us micro-chip sex offenders! They seem to be doing more harm to our children than dogs last I checked.

iiq374 said...

Certainly more permanent harm - although I can't say that I can actually see much of an advantage to chipping them either?

I think a compulsory DNA sample for all convicted criminals would be of more use and likely stop abuse alot sooner anyway...