In Tasmania, compulsory microchipping of dogs took effect from 1 July, 2011. From this date all dogs over six months of age must be microchipped and registered with your local council.
If your dog is not microchipped an infringement fine of up to $1,200 may be enforced. If your dog strays or is lost, the council may microchip your pet without your consent. This cost must be paid before your dog is returned to you.
While not compulsory it is strongly advised that your cat should also be microchipped. Some rabbit owners also choose to microchip their bunnies.
Why Should I Have My Pet Microchipped?
- Microchips provide a permanent form of identification that cannot be changed or removed and this identification lasts for the life of the pet
- If your pet ever escapes your yard and is injured a vet can contact you to rapidly re-unite you with your pet OR to begin possibly life saving treatment for injury or disease.
- A microchip cannot be lost, unlike a collar or tag
- Microchips identify a pet anywhere in Australia and on a 24 hour-per-day basis compared with some council registration systems that only operate during business hours.
- Microchips are simple to implant and implantation only needs to be done once in an animal’s life.
- Microchipping is inexpensive – a once-off minimal cost will protect your pet for life.
- Similar-looking animals can be uniquely identified by their microchip.
Disadvantages of microchipping are very rare. There are some reports of microchips migrating from the original site of injection but changes have been made to many brands of microchips to resolve this problem.
The advantage of identification tags on collars is that they allow immediate identification by any person who finds the pet, without relying on them having a scanner in their back pocket! Tags and collars can be lost, but a tag is very cheap to purchase and, in many cases, welfare societies supply free tags. Microchips don’t replace tags and collars but supplement them.
How Is The Microchip Inserted?
At NHVH a small injection of local anaesthetic may be given before cleaning the skin (a small patch of fur may be clipped) and the microchip is inserted painlessly into the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is then scanned to check its placement.
A microchip can also be implanted when your pet is anaesthetised – like when they are being de-sexed.
Registering The Microchip
After the microchip is placed on your pet, the chip’s number is recorded on the database for your pet’s entire life. It is of utmost importance that you contact the database whenever your details change. Your local council details are not linked to the database.