US Department of Agriculture Endorses Microchips to Identify American Pets

September 04, 2007 10:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time

U.S. Animal Care Providers Applaud the Findings

For years, animal care providers have promoted identification microchips as a highly effective way of reuniting lost pets with owners. A report issued by the USDA last week underscores the importance and supports the microchipping of pets. (Photo: Business Wire)

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has endorsed the use of microchips to identify American pets and has advocated educating the public about microchip technology as stated in its report to Congress, released late last week. The report, which was requested by Congress in 2005, is applauded by animal care providers tasked with reuniting lost and displaced pets with their families.

Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of USDA, has the authority to regulate most warm-blooded animals used for exhibition, research, and the wholesale pet trade. The report states that “APHIS supports the microchipping of pets” and that it is “very interested in working with microchips manufacturers, humane organizations, veterinarians, and other stakeholders to explore options to increase the effectiveness of microchipping.”

Dan Knox, D.V.M., Task Force Member of the American MicroChip Advisory Council for Animals (AMACA) declared: “It is undisputed that microchips save pets’ lives. I expect that countless pets that are lost or displaced by hurricanes and other natural disasters will be saved over the years because the USDA supports and encourages the use of microchips.”

The report was the result of two years of study by APHIS, which included six public meetings held throughout the U.S. and over 1,000 written comments from the public.

Hannis Stoddard, D.V.M., president and founder of Avid, the leading manufacturer of pet identification microchips stated, “As it is now undisputed that 98% of American pets that are microchipped are chipped with a 125 kHz chip and that so many scanners used in this country only read 125 kHz chips, to save the most U.S. pets, animal care providers should use 125 kHz chips.

“It is a testament to Congress, the USDA and APHIS to see through the rhetoric and not push for an overhaul of the current system, a system that works and saves pets,” added Stoddard. “It is incredible to think that some would advocate that Congress endorse use of microchips that had been halted in court. We hope APHIS’ report puts the debate to rest -- the current system works and should be embraced.”

The APHIS Report demonstrates the importance of organizations like AMACA, whose mission is to support microchip identification and to do the right thing for animals and their owners. AMACA has been instrumental in educating veterinarians, pet owners, and other interested parties about pet microchips.

Noted Knox, “APHIS’ report underscores that microchips are for the benefit of pets and their owners. The government’s strong endorsement of microchipping sends a message to all companies wanting to do business in this arena that their products must first and foremost provide a highly effective means for reuniting pets with their owners, such as current 125 kHz chips do.”

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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