Thursday, September 1, 2011
Ask the Governor to VETO SB 702 (microchipping impounded animals)
While you are on the phone or faxing regarding AB 1117, please also mention SB 702.
TAKE ACTION / CALL Gov. Jerry Brown, tell him to veto SB 702.
"I am OPPOSED to SB 702, a mandate to routinely microchip dogs upon release from a shelter."
Mandated microchipping will have unintended consequences. Since the cost of the microchip will be borne by the owner, this will result in higher impound/adoption fees. Considering today's economic climate, for many animals this increased cost will reduce the chances of being adopted or reclaimed.
A microchip can be a wonderful tool, but they are not without pitfalls. There have been rare instances of microchip insertion resulting in illness and death. Dogs have bled to death after insertion and developed abscesses at the insertion site. Some have had the chip improperly inserted into muscle tissue or even the spinal canal, and there are also cases of lethal cancer formation at microchip sites. Chips can migrate in the body or fail, rendering them useless. Microchips also vary considerably by manufacturer, and there is no universal scanner at this time.
Other forms of identification such as tattoos or tags can be immediately read by anyone who finds a stray dog, allowing rapid return to owner and reducing the burden on local shelters. Animal welfare groups such as AKC and OFA consider tattoos to be an acceptable form of permanent ID. Freeze branding is also an alternative.
Information on a microchip may not always be updated upon transfer of ownership. Reliance on a microchip may mean the death of a pet who would have survived with a more visible form of identification.
Bill proponents are making false claims about this bill, stating that animals control officers in the field will scan and return animals without having them enter the shelter system first. While it is possible for such a system to be implemented, it is NOT the reality of what happens here in California.
A full 11% of shelter intakes are animals that are DOA. Another 14% are animals that are relinquished by their owner. That's 25% who won't be helped by this microchip mandate. Over 50% of all intakes are cats and kittens, few of which have owners. Microchips won't help feral cats and kittens. The proven method for dealing with feral cats and kittens is trap-neuter-release programs. Killing or microchipping feral cats are obviously not humane or beneficial methods of dealing with them.
In light of the risks associated with these devices, it is ill-advised to mandate their routine usage. Pet owners should be allowed to decide if they wish to utilize a permanent ID system, and, if so, if they prefer to use collars and tags or tattoos instead of microchips. We urge you to veto CA SB 702.
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