Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The May issue of The Veterinary Nurse included a comment piece titled ‘Microchipping — is it time to make it compulsory?’ (Walsom (2011) The Veterinary Nurse 2:228). The Veterinary Nurse received the following correspondence in response.
I am contacting you after reading the article in The Veterinary Nursing regarding making ID chips compulsory.
I have been a veterinary nurse since 1994 and have also worked at some of the big charities including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and recently did some locum work for the RSPCA. What a difference it would have made on a daily basis if more of the animals had had microchips! I definitely feel over the years that microchipping has become more popular especially, I suppose, with the Pets Passport Scheme, but I strongly feel it should be made compulsory as part of being a responsible pet owner. How we go about enforcing this is a different matter, as I'm sure 90% of pet owners in private practices would do it, but what about the animals we never see or people on low incomes?
I recently went online to check my own personal details were up to date, as I have three cats all chipped. After preaching to clients to ensure their details are always correct I thought I should do the same! Everything was still current apart from a contact mobile number which I wanted to change. I was astounded to discover that to ONLY change my mobile number and nothing else, for my three cats it would cost me £10 per cat!
I felt this was totally over the top, how can you justfy £30 to change one number, and if I felt this, how can I feel it acceptable for clients to pay this? If we want to encourage this very successful and rewarding scheme, we need to think again about some of the pricing in place. For me there is nothing more frustrating than a stray with no chip in place, but even more so an animal who has a microchip but the details are incorrect. To encourage owners to keep up to date with all their information, why can't we, with the placement of passwords, access our own file online and change the details as and when it is necessary. That way it would cut out the ‘administration charge’ that Petlog enforces for someone to alter a few details.
Another idea we could try and have in place at practices, is some kind of reminder to us, that when a client telephones up to change their address or phone details, a reminder could flash up on the screen to remind them to inform Petlog of their changes also? Or, when you are just double checking contact info with a client, get into the habit of reminding them about Petlog also. I know it is hard to remember all this when you have so much other information to check and questions to ask and the phone is ringing…!
I hope some of what I have said may help, and that eventually all pets will be chipped and more easily re-united with their owners.