From: H MCMURRAY
25 October 2011 23:15
complusory dog microchipping
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 databases. 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 expected. 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 destroyed.”
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.
7 Heaven Animal Rescue Trust