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Thread: Would anybody help beta test a smart dog tag in Australia?

  1. #11

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    We are not anti-microchipping by any means. We looked at how microchipping works, take with animal hospitals, rescue shelters, animal control officers, veterinarians, and owners who had their pets returned with microchips. Everyone had a love / hate relationship with the microchip. Many owners weren’t even aware of some of the problems that microchipping have. We did a great deal of empirical research (I teach at a university) and here are some of the interesting items we found:

    -The microchip moves and can’t be found by the reader or has problems because it has moved in the pet’s body

    -Different microchips have different frequencies which means that you need more than one reader or a multi-reader. None of them are cheap.

    -You HAVE to have a reader which 99% of the public does not.

    -Because of the cost of the readers, the animal hospitals we went to charge to read the chip which causes problems. Example: You bring in a dog that has been hurt. The hospital won’t read the chip unless you pay for the chip read. Many people balked at that. The hospital is not allowed to read the chip, contact the owner, and back bill them. Without information your pet will go from the animal hospital to the local animal shelter.

    -Information is severely limited. 99% of the chips contain a number. So you call the toll free number, give them the number from the chip, and then they try to contact the owner. The animal hospitals stated that they cannot help your pet until they hear from you. So if your pet was injured they cannot do anything. Your pet’s life is dependent on how hard the microchip company works to contact you.

    -We heard from animal hospitals and rescue shelters that 72% of the microchip companies have outdated information. It is not surprising. People have their pet microchipped, time goes by, they move/change phones/whatever, and they do not update the information with the microchip company. It can also be difficult to change information and sometimes you must pay to do this.

    -Time - There is time involved in getting the microchip found, scanned, relayed to the microchip company, and them contacting you.

    -Cost - There is either cost in updating the information or a yearly fee with the microchip company.

    As I said, we are not anti-microchip people. We feel the microchip is a great last resort. It has a good probability that it won’t become lost in your pet’s body and that you will be eventually contacted by the microchip company.

    I like to think that our system augments the microchip using modern technology. Our system is cheaper to install, read, faster to communicate, and has much more information in a critical situation. It is not perfect because it could become lost. Still, I think the odds of that are pretty slim.



    Thank you for your feedback.

    Sincerely,


    Mark

  2. #12

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    I will start by saying - these are my own personal views. Not backed up by market research.

    Also, sorry if this is a bit brief in tone - I just lost a long post. (urgh! hate that!)

    Microchipping has been compulsory in parts (if not all) of Australia since the early 2000's.
    Microchipping and registering your cat or dog - Division of Local Government
    Its also compulsory for animals to wear a collar and ID tag
    Responsible pet ownership - Division of Local Government

    This isn't fool proof - in fact my dog came into my life due to not having / or having a faulty chip and no collar.

    Quote Originally Posted by pentad View Post
    We are not anti-microchipping by any means. We looked at how microchipping works, take with animal hospitals, rescue shelters, animal control officers, veterinarians, and owners who had their pets returned with microchips. Everyone had a love / hate relationship with the microchip. Many owners weren’t even aware of some of the problems that microchipping have. We did a great deal of empirical research (I teach at a university) and here are some of the interesting items we found:

    -The microchip moves and can’t be found by the reader or has problems because it has moved in the pet’s body

    -Different microchips have different frequencies which means that you need more than one reader or a multi-reader. None of them are cheap.

    -You HAVE to have a reader which 99% of the public does not.

    -Because of the cost of the readers, the animal hospitals we went to charge to read the chip which causes problems. Example: You bring in a dog that has been hurt. The hospital won’t read the chip unless you pay for the chip read. Many people balked at that. The hospital is not allowed to read the chip, contact the owner, and back bill them. Without information your pet will go from the animal hospital to the local animal shelter.
    Because chips are compulsory here in my state (NSW) most - vets / vet techs / animal control officers know to scan the whole body.
    I believe most chips are on similar frequencies here - remember we're a much smaller market and country then the States.
    I would put money on every vet clinic in NSW having a chip reader. All council rangers (animal control is via local government or council here in NSW) will also have access to a chip reader. Some breeders also own their own. A cheap reader can be purchased for approx $175 AUD.

    I have never heard of a vet clinic here in Australia charging for a chip read. Some will refuse to take an animal if it is not chipped but I have never heard of a chipped animal being refused shelter.

    -Information is severely limited. 99% of the chips contain a number. So you call the toll free number, give them the number from the chip, and then they try to contact the owner. The animal hospitals stated that they cannot help your pet until they hear from you. So if your pet was injured they cannot do anything. Your pet’s life is dependent on how hard the microchip company works to contact you.

    -We heard from animal hospitals and rescue shelters that 72% of the microchip companies have outdated information. It is not surprising. People have their pet microchipped, time goes by, they move/change phones/whatever, and they do not update the information with the microchip company. It can also be difficult to change information and sometimes you must pay to do this.

    Yes - chips only contain the number which links back the the database.

    In the 5 years I worked in a clinic I never once saw a hit animal be turned away or saw a trauma patient be refused on the terms of no chip. I believe this choice would be up to the vet on duty but most would at least stabilise an animal before even checking for a chip.

    I would hazard a guess - if you're the type of person who keeps a QR tag on your pet you'd also be the kind which updates your chip info. You can update it info with "missing" or "stollen". Animals here in NSW are registered / entered on the companion animals register - a central government run database.
    Updating your cat or dog's details on the NSW Companion Animals Register - Division of Local Government


    -Time - There is time involved in getting the microchip found, scanned, relayed to the microchip company, and them contacting you.
    True - but negligible.

    -Cost - There is either cost in updating the information or a yearly fee with the microchip company.
    Nope. Not here in NSW. It's a one off lifetime registration fee of $182 if the animal is not desexed . If the animal is desexed or owned by a registered breeder the fee is $49 (for life). if the animal is a service dog (e.g. Guide dog) it is free.
    Info towards bottom of page
    Microchipping and registering your cat or dog - Division of Local Government

    As I said, we are not anti-microchip people. We feel the microchip is a great last resort. It has a good probability that it won’t become lost in your pet’s body and that you will be eventually contacted by the microchip company.
    Microchips are a great tool - which is why they're are compulsory here in NSW.
    Yes - there is a chance they will get lost in the pet. There is also some chance they will become faulty. I have read of at least one batch which were faulty and stopped working.
    It sounds as if there is a much greater chance of the chip database working to reunite your pet here in Australia then there is in the USA.

    I like to think that our system augments the microchip using modern technology. Our system is cheaper to install, read, faster to communicate, and has much more information in a critical situation. It is not perfect because it could become lost. Still, I think the odds of that are pretty slim.
    The odds of a collar and tag getting lost are higher then a chip no longer working.




    As I said, I realise the microchip and collar with tag system isn't perfect -if it was - my little dude wouldn't be on the couch next to me - he'd be home with his original family.

    I also think it's a good idea and will appeal to many people - just the same as collar and tag, personalised dog collars http://www.petcollars.com.au/index.p...&product_id=53
    and even the good old fashioned ID tube
    Amazon.com : Petmate Aspen Pet 05800 Small Aristo I.D. Tube : Pet Collars : Pet Supplies

    I could suggest a bit more research into the Australia Market - but I think I have probably just covered a lot of it for you.
    Last edited by Scottsmum; 06-16-2014 at 02:10 PM. Reason: typos

  3. #13
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    What Scotsmum said.

    It seems clear that the microchip system works quite differently in Oz than in the USA.

    I think there are 3 Australian databases - plus councils and ANKC keep their own as well. But vets don't need different tools to scan, and they can look up the number on the internet and get the phone number details from there. As long as the owner has kept them up to date - it works really well. Vets and councils do not charge to scan an animal.

    The QR code would have the same problem with owners failing to update info.

  4. #14
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    Don't make the mistake of assuming that as things work one way in your country that they work the same way in others.
    Do your research.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  5. #15
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    I think we are his research... Of course if we were in the USA - we'd probably get paid...

  6. #16

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    I suppose there is only one way to find out - ask someone!

    LOL.

  7. #17
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    Or look up microchipping in Oz on google etc.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #18
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    Good post Scottsmum...they say their not anti-microchipping but it sounds like it to me.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
    Good post Scottsmum...they say their not anti-microchipping but it sounds like it to me.
    Thanks Dogman.

    I'd hazard they just haven't done their research. At the end of the day, understanding your product is one thing, but understanding a new market is entirely different.

  10. #20

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    Thank you for your feedback -

    I apologize for not clearly stating that the research I was posting was form the United States. Obviously, if we had done research in Australia I wouldn't be posting here. :-)

    Scottsmum, thank you for your energetic reply. I think you made some great points on the positives for chipping. It does appear that in Australia the database system is somewhat better. Of course, the population difference probably accounts for some of that. A good plus for dog owners!

    However, I also think you reenforced many of our points on why microchips seem clumsy. No matter what you think, we still think microchips are a great last resort.

    Luckily, we've been put in touch with some veterinarians through the AVA. They have helped to sort fact from fiction from both Google, forum posts, and other Internet sites.

    Again, thank you very much for your time!

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