Amendments to the Dog Control Act 1996 now require certain dogs to be implanted with a functioning microchip transponder. The intent of the legislation is to provide dogs with a unique number to assist in connecting dogs with their owners, as well as assisting animal control officers to protect the interests of society as a whole.
A microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) and functions very similar to a supermarket barcode. A microchip is a passive transponder, which means it responds to a scanner. It is not a transmitter and has no power source.
A microchip reader/scanner produces a polarised low frequency electromagnetic field. It is a reliable, interference free transmission without contact.
There are many dogs already microchipped and many exotic or expensive animals are microchipped all over the world. The greatest benefit to a dog owner is that if a microchipped dog is lost, stolen or has escaped and strayed, it can easily be identified and reunited with the owner.
Dogs Required to be Microchipped
All dogs registered for the first time, except working farm dogs must be microchipped. Also dogs that are:
- classified as dangerous or menacing after 1 Dec 2003
- impounded, registered for the second time after 1 July 2006
- impounded, unregistered after 1 July 2006
- Finding Lost or Stolen Dogs - if a beloved pet or valuable farm dog is lost or stolen, it can be matched to its owner instantly and reunited. Every year thousands of dogs are euthanased. The main reason is that an owner cannot be located.
- Proving Ownership - even when your lost or stolen dog is found there is no way to prove that it is your dog unless it is microchipped. Up to 25% of ear brands are not identifiable (Dr John F Newell B. V.Sc February 2006)
- Proving Identity - sometimes dogs are stolen and kept for breeding or other purposes. When a microchipped dog is found, the last registered owner will be contacted.
- Cost - it is a one-off cost and is a relatively inexpensive mechanism for identifying your dog. Many dog owners have already voluntarily microchipped their dogs.
- Notification of Transfers - This is much easier to do as the dog's correct information can be quickly located in the national dog database for processing
- The National Dog Database - is continuously updated through local council records. All councils have access to this database.
- Improved Dog Control - effective dog control means improved community safety.