Microchip tags for pets to help trace owners

ALL pets in Singapore may have to wear a chip in them to stop owners from abandoning their pets. 

About 19,000 dogs and cats are abandoned by their owners every year. 

At the moment, only imported pets are tagged with these microchips, which are about the size and shape of a rice grain. 

The device is inserted under the skin of the animal's neck through an injection given by a veterinarian.  

The jab costs between S$50 (RM110.50)and S$100 (RM220). 

Unlike collars and tattoos, the chip cannot fade or be lost, and can last up to 25 years. 

It is also difficult to remove. 

A hand-held scanner passed over the animal's body is used to read a number encoded in the device. This number is used to identify the animal and its owner. 

Though the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is starting a study on the reactions of pet owners to the procedure this month, the agency hopes to phase in the compulsory tagging of pets soon. 

Dr Leow Su Hua, who heads AVA's animal welfare education branch and is part of the six-man team doing the study, said: “Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify pets and for lost or stolen animals to be returned to their owners.”– The Straits Times/ Asia News Network  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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