Microchipping ensures lifetime identification of your pets and is compulsory for all pets being registered for the first time. It is also a requirement to microchip all cats and dogs when they are sold or given away from pet shops, commercial breeders and pounds or shelters.
How Microchipping Works
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and has its own unique number. It is injected under the skin around your pet's shoulder area. It is a simple procedure, which causes no side effects.
A scanner that can read microchip numbers is passed over your pet’s skin to to read the microchip number. The scanned number is then checked against the microchip registry, which provides details of each pet’s owners.
Once your pet is microchipped, you will receive a certificate of identification from the licensed microchip registry, which contains your contact details. It is important to check the information on the certificate and make sure you update the registry if your address or contact details change.
The Department of Agriculture website has more information about permanent identification technology like microchipping.
The Benefits of Microchipping
When owners microchip their pet:
- They can be quickly reunited with lost pets
- They can have confidence they will get their pet back if it is lost and ends up in a shelter or pound or injured and at a vet clinic
- Vets can quickly identify and contact you about your injured pet, so you can make urgent decisions about your animal’s treatment
- You could save your pet’s life – thousands of unidentified pets in pounds have to be euthanased each year in Victoria because they can’t be returned
- The identification cannot be removed or fall off like a traditional collar and tag
- There is improved management of dangerous or nuisance animals, and increasing owner accountability.
Who can Microchip your Pet
Only authorised implanters (such as registered veterinarians or people who have completed the required training) can implant microchips.
Certificate of Microchipping
Owners of newly microchipped animals will receive a certificate of identification from the licensed registry where information is kept. It is important to check the information on the certificate and make sure it is accurate.
In future, if your address or contact details change, it is important that you update the information on the microchip registry. How you can update your pet's microchip details will be listed on your pet's certificate of identification.
Compulsory Scanning of Pets in Shelters
Within three days of entering a pound or shelter, it is a requirement that all cats and dogs are scanned to determine whether they are microchipped to enable contact with the owner. If your details are not up to date it makes it harder to let you know your pet has been found.
Who has Access to a Pet's Microchip Information
Information on the microchip registry can only be accessed for the purpose of reuniting the owner with the animal by the authorised implanter, the owner of the animal, certain authorised government employees such as authorised Council officers and any other person providing the owner has given their consent.