A bill was sent to President Bush to sign this Thursday, supporting the use of open pet microchip technology in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Both Houses of Congress seek the ability to add different languages to the program, thus creating a system that would enable all scanners to read all pet microchips, regardless of where they originated.
Previously, the U.S. House of Representatives had included language that specifically required the use of ISO 134.2 kHz pet microchips, as utilized in European countries. The language had to be removed, however, when it was found to interfere with the 125 kHz microchips which were widely used in the United States.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has also been directed by Congress to develop regulations that allow for universal reading ability and best serve the interests of all pet owners.
The microchip is quickly becoming the most popular and sensible form of pet identification available today. Information is placed on a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, and is then inserted just under your pet’s skin.
The number on the microchip can then be scanned and, using data registry, can then be assigned to an owner, linking pets to their families, in case they ever become lost or injured. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) already microchips all of their adopted pets and veterinarians now frequently scan dogs, allowing them to not only track down lost dogs but stolen animals, as well as keeping medical records on one’s pet accessible via number.
Microchipping is inexpensive, takes just minutes to do, and can help protect your pet, or aid him in finding his way home should he become lost. If you haven’t gotten your pet microchipped yet, it’s highly advisable that you speak with your veterinarian and find out how to go about doing so. You won’t regret it and neither will your furry friend!