Is your pet’s microchip implant certified by the government? At a press conference on Nov. 27, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Hui-chen said that the specifications for pet microchips have not been standardized since the government’s initial promotion of the pet registration system in 1999. If a pet owner has a substandard microchip inserted in their pet by mistake, scanners at inspection stations will not be able to read the chip information, and the pet may be euthanized. Chiang demanded that the Council of Agriculture (COA) adopt a common international standard for pet microchips immediately.
Hsu Kuei-sen, head of the COA’s Department of Animal Husbandry, admitted that the promotion of microchip specifications is insufficient. He urges pet owners to identify the official microchip logos and choose legitimate veterinarians who have signed contracts with the government, and make sure officially recognized microchips with either 10-digit or 15-digit microchip numbers are implanted. They must then register the chip ID on the COA’s “Pet Registration Information System” Web site at www.pet.gov.tw.
To remind pet owners to have microchips inserted in their pets, the COA’s division of animal protection reinforced its inspection in public places, such as parks, beginning last year. If the pet is not microchipped, the owner may face a fine of between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000. As of October this year, the animal protection division has carried out a total of 24,659 inspections, issuing 11 tickets and 6,928 warnings.
Chiang says there is vast array of pet microchips in circulation, but only those containing 10-digit or 15-digit numbers have been certified by the government. Many animal clinics keen to cut costs do not adopt government specifications and pet owners generally have no idea which microchip to choose. As a result, when a pet is lost and sent to an animal shelter, it may be designated as an “orphan” simply because the microchip implant cannot be read with a scanner.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Lin Ya-ti)