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Microchipping Will Waste $25 Million Per Year

Microchipping Will Waste $25 Million Per Year

Parliament's support for the compulsory microchipping of dogs flies in the face of logic and is effectively throwing away over $25 million every year says Charlie Pedersen, Vice President, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc)

Mr Pedersen was commenting on the Government's proposal to fit every dog with a microchip linked to a national database.

"This is another example of the Government placing another cost on farmers who rely on a number of highly trained dogs to help run their farms.

"Compulsory microchipping will not reduce dog attacks and will do nothing to aid the identification of the owners of dogs that attack. Establishing ownership of dogs that have attacked people has not been the problem. Microchipping will simply annoy responsible owners, be ignored by the rest and further increase the number of unregistered dogs.

"Government support for the proposal is based on the false information that microchips only cost $12 - $20 per dog and that running the national data base will cost 50c per dog per year. The reality is that microchipping costs between $50 and $110 per dog and the database is more likely to cost $25 per dog per year - in line with the cost of administrating the motor vehicle register. This does not take into account the cost of scanners , the estimated $1 million needed to establish the database, which is likely to blow out to several times given past experience with national databases.

The claim is that microchipping will mean councils can track dogs. But the very people the Government is targeting are the same ones who will fail to register. Forcing them to pay an extra $50 to $110 per dog will not encourage them to comply.

Unlike motor vehicles where registration is much easier to enforce, microchips are very small and cannot be seen once implanted. Scanners only have a range of two inches so dogs have to be captured, held firmly or destroyed for the chip to be read. It is no wonder that most dog control officers are not keen on the idea.

Federated Farmers calls on MP's to respect the considered opinion of the Select Committee and reject the Local Government Minister's proposal to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs.

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