The City of Los Angeles’ animal shelters now require all animals adopted from their facilities be given an identification microchip implant.
After several years of debate and study, the
Los Angles City
Council approved a measure to require that, as of Aug. 1, adopted animals be given a small electronic implant that would identify the owner of the pet. While the program has been discussed for many years, cost considerations for increased staff and computer equipment held up its implementation until now.
A $15 fee covering the cost of the microchip and the implant procedure will be charged to the new pet owners. Current pet owners can bring their animals in for the implants for a $25 fee. Private veterinarians usually charge between $25 and $45 for the procedure.
Positioned just beneath the skin on the back of the neck, the chips will contain information about the owner, the animal’s attack history and whether the animal has been picked up before. The chip can also hold the medical history of the animal, allowing animal workers to care for special medical conditions in the event the owner cannot be contacted. This information is read by an electronic wand carried by animal service employees.
Using these implants, animal services hope to reduce the number of animals put to death each year by improving owner identification of lost animals.
“People forget to put collars on after giving their pet a bath, or a dog gets loose and loses its collar,” Gini Barrett of the
Humane Association told the Los Angeles Daily News. “With microchips, you can find out who this animal belongs to.
“And, when it becomes universally applied, it will help on the public-safety level in controlling dogs that are allowed to run free. How many times is there a case where a dog gets free and bites someone and everyone denies being the owner? This will solve that. It is the future.”
Approximately 3 million animals nationwide and about 7 million worldwide have been implanted with the chips. Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia and other cities across the United States require that impounded dogs be implanted with the microchip. Los Angeles will join other areas, including its neighboring Ventura County, in requiring the implants for all adopted animals.
While the animal microchip implant has existed for over 10 years, new technology employed in these electronic chips has also been modified for human use. As
WorldNetDaily has reported, a device called the
Digital Angel? is a human implant whose manufacturer claims it has the capacity for everything from monitoring organ functions to user identification for e-commerce.
One of the touted applications for the Digital Angel? is strikingly similar to pet-tracking — namely, tracking lost or kidnapped people.
“Ideally, the device will bring peace of mind and an increased quality of life for those who use it, and for their families, loved ones, and associates who depend on them critically,” states the “Digital Angel?’s patent. “Adults who are at risk due to their economic or political status, as well as their children who may be at risk of being kidnapped, will reap new freedoms in their everyday lives by employing the device.”
While privacy and morality concerns have been raised regarding the use of microchip implants in humans, no opposition has been voiced for what is being described as “electronic pet tags.”