J.Arnold: Posted on 26 October 2011 13:17
I couldn't say this better, so won't:
25 October 2011 23:15
complusory dog microchipping
Dear sir/madam
I am writing to you to make you aware of the dangers of
microchipping. Legislation is soon to be introduced making it
compulsory for dogs in Northern Ireland to be microchipped. I
believe they will try to bring in the same legislation in England.
Are you aware that various scientific studies have shown that
between 1% and 10% of laboratory animals have developed
cancers around the microchip implant.? Outside the laboratory
there have been documented cases of cats and dogs also
developing carcinomas at the implant site. This should not be
surprising, as foreign body tumor genesis (the growth of cancer
cells due to a foreign object being lodged under the skin of an
animal or human) is a well established medical problem.
Here is what Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology
Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center in New York had to say about RFID implants, "There's
no way in the world, having read this information, that I would
have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my
family members."
Please check out the following websites for scientific studies and
other cases of microchip implant-induced tumours.
Importantly, they also state that there has been no research
carried out to prove that these implants are safe.
These websites also contain all the latest information on the
whole microchip subject:
But cancer is not the only illness induced by Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) chips. There have also been cases of
adverse tissue reactions and haemorrhaging due to the chip
being implanted erroneously; the glass of the chip can break
or the chip can migrate to another part of the body when the
dog is playing.Any adverse reactions to implants are supposed
to be reported to the Microchip Advisory Board on behalf of the
British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).
However, only one vet in the survey we carried out was aware of
this reporting procedure. But then why would they be aware as
nobody has ever told them there are any risks involved so they
will not be looking for any adverse reactions. M.A.G. have
admitted themselves that there is under-reporting in this area.
And who are the Microchip Advisory Board?
They are predominately made up of microchip manufacturers,
microchip distributors, and companies that run the microchip
There would appear to be a conflict of interest here.
Why would people making a lot of money from microchipping
want to highlight the dangers of microchipping?
There were various spurious reasons put forward by the
pro-microchipping lobby when trying to push this legislation
through but none stand up to close scrutiny.
The first was because it would help curtail dangerous dogs.
Apart from the fact this would involve forcing a law on
everyone to address a problem created by a miniscule amount
of dog owners, it is patently disingenuous as the sort of
people that own dangerous dogs will simply not get their dogs
microchipped or get them from illegal breeders. The next reason
wheeled out was that it would help if your dog was lost, but a
collar with an address and phone number does the same thing.
(If your dog is stolen, under the Data Protection Act, the
company who runs the microchip database cannot legally tell you
who has stolen your dog, so that argument is also fallacious.
Having a microchip is not proof of ownership)
The next reason given is that it would deter people from letting
their dogs roam. Well the only way to do this would be to fine
the owners and to make it substantial but if you do that the
owners would just take the dog to pound for rehoming or just
take it to the vets to get put down which would probably cost
less than the fine. If an owner doesn’t care enough and lets his
dog risk being run over on the road by letting it wander around
without a lead, then he doesn’t really care about the dog at all,
so he isn’t going to pay any fines.
The idea was partly sold to animal sanctuaries because they were
told it would help them re-unite the animals with their owners.
There is one major flaw in this argument. The vast majority of
animals, particularly dogs that 7 Heaven take in, from whatever
source (and presumably this will be the same for most charities)
are animals that have been given up by their owners.
You can microchip a dog up to its eyeballs but you can’t re-unite
it with an owner that doesn’t want it.In the genuine cases where
a dog escapes, a collar and tag with owner’s details will be just
as good for getting the dog back to its owner. In fact, it would
be better as any member of the public can read the details of the
tag and contact the owner whereas it takes someone with a
scanner to read a microchip. Someone would either have to
phone the dog warden and wait until he collected it and got it
back to the pound before the owner would be contacted or
whoever found the dog would have to get it to their nearest vet
or council to have it scanned and not too many people are going
to go to that trouble. In addition to this, if the dog has changed
hands, the microchip details may not be correct as every time a
dog gets a new owner that new owner must pay to have the details
updated on the microchip database.
So when all the arguments are dispelled the only reason left
would appear to be money. By the microchip manufacturers
own admission a profit of between 200% and 400 % can be
made per microchip. That, of course, is only for the charities
or vets that actually do the microchipping; it doesn’t say how
much profit the actual manufacturers will make.
Certainly the one thing that does not seem to be taken into
account is the dog’s welfare as the dangers are never mentioned
to the public.
We conducted a survey amongst Northern Irleand vets to get
their perspective.
Below are the results of that survey:
 *57% of respondents said they were never made aware
of the health risks associated with microchipping implants.
 *None (0%) of vets, who said they carried out microchipping,
informed the pet’s owner of the risks.
 *72% of respondents do not know the reporting procedure to
register any adverse reactions or problems arising from RFID
implants.(Clearly this is a major factor of why M.A.G. say there
is so little risk involved).
 *86% of respondents said they disapprove of anyone other than
a vet carrying out this procedure. The remainder said that those
carrying out implants must undergo proper training or be a
qualified veterinary nurse with additional specific training.
We also asked the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for their
opinion, taking into account their Guide to Professional Conduct.
Below are the points we put to them. Under the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons Guide to Professional Conduct section 1A it
says , “Accessibility, accountability and transparency are
Where is the transparency involved when clients are not told
about the risk to the animal?
Under section 1B(a) it says “Make animal welfare your first
consideration in seeking to provide appropriate attention for
animals committed to you care.
How is the welfare of the animal the first consideration when
implanting a microchip when it has no medical or health benefit
to that animal and, in fact, can have adverse side effects?
Under section 1B(b) it says “Ensure that all animals under your
care are treated humanely and with respect”
Carrying out unnecessary medical procedures with potentially
lethal side effects cannot, by any definition, be considered
treating an animal humanely or with respect.Under section
1D(f) it says “Ensure treatment options are offered and
explained, including prognoses and possible side effects.”
Nowhere in vet’s surgeries or animal sanctuaries is there any
literature explaining the possible dangers involved in
microchipping.Under section 1D(1i) it says ‘”obtain
the client’s consent to treatment unless delay would adversely
effect the animal’s welfare (to give informed consent clients must
be aware of the risks)” No consent forms are signed when
microchipping is carried out and no side effects are mentioned.
Under section 1D (2,c) it says “Avoid conflicts of interest.” How
can a conflict of interest be avoided when vets will make money
by carrying out an unnecessary medical procedure. .Under
1C(h,a) A veterinary surgeon must not cause any patient to suffer
by carrying out any unnecessary mutilation .Although
microchipping isn’t strictly mutilation it is an invasive procedure
which is not medically beneficial or necessary. This was their
response – a standard position statement that failed to address any
of the ethical issues‘The RCVS supports the compulsory
permanent identification of all dogs, on the grounds that the
accurate identification of dogs has a positive impact on animal
welfare and may assist in the control of dangerous dogs. 
Microchipping is the predominant form of permanent
identification, although the RCVS also acknowledges other forms
of permanent identification.”Please note they do not categorically
state they support microchipping only that it is one form of
permanent identification.It is clear that vet’s own ethical
guidelines are being ignored by the fact that no vet or
organisation that carries out microchipping is getting consent
forms completed or informing people of the risks. This could well
leave them legally liable if anything goes wrong.(There is an
on-going legal case in the USA where Merck, a microchip
manufacturer, is being sued after their implant caused cancer in a
cat)Then there is the crucial aspect of unique ID references that
RFID implants are supposed to ensure. I quote RFID news -
“There are a number of legitimate, very worthwhile potential
uses for ISO 11784/85 transponders, however national animal
registration databases relying on positive and unique
identification is not one of them.”
Here is also a quote from the CGCVE (The Spanish Veterinary
College) –“We are deeply concerned with the intention to use
the ISO standard for identification of companion animals.
The ISO standard, as it is written, cannot guarantee a
unique identification number for each animal.
Without unique identification numbers it is possible that the one
animal is registered in the database, and other animals with the
same identification number are also present in the market.
When this happens, the reliability of any central database is
After reading this e-mail we would ask you to oppose any
proposed legislation aimed to makemicrochipping compulsory.
It is unethical to carryout a medical procedure that is not
necessary. Compulsory microchipping will not reduce the
number of stray animals, which is why it the legislation was
supposedly introduced, and the whole premise of a unique ID
is fallacious.
We would also appreciate it if you would sign our online petition
to amend the law in Nortehrn Irleand to remove the compulsory
microchipping component of the bill.
Thank you
Stephen McMurray
7 Heaven Animal Rescue Trust

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