Recent developments in the U.S. microchipping marketplace indicated to us that we should provide our friends in animal welfare using the 24PetWatch microchip program (www.24petwatch.com) with updates and our perspective on matters. Last week we covered the “cancer issue”; this week we thought we would revisit the discussion over ISO.
As you know, there has been considerable debate over what should constitute the standard for microchipping in the U.S. While virtually all other countries in the developed world, including Canada, have switched to the ISO standard (which includes the use of unencrypted 134 kHz microchips), the U.S. market has remained in a form of “technology limbo”. Of the three main providers in the United States, we, through our 24PetWatch microchip program, and Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation (“Schering-Plough”), through its HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service (“Home Again”), have been offering FECAVA standard (unencrypted 125 kHz microchips) while Avid has been using an encrypted version of the 125 kHz chip. More recently, Bayer Inc. (“Bayer”) has begun distributing the Datamars ISO microchip and the AKC has re-entered the market using the Trovan chip, which appears to be neither FECAVA nor ISO standard.
Some effort has been made by the user groups representing both the veterinary and shelter communities at both national and state levels to try and come to an agreement as to what the proper standard for the U.S. should be and to establish a timetable for transitioning to that standard. While considerable time and energy has been spent on this, the user groups have either been unwilling or incapable of mandating change, unlike Canada where the National Companion Animal Coalition (comprised of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Canadian Kennel Club and PIJAC Canada) mandated a move to ISO over two years ago.
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