Commissioners to look at mandatory micro-chipping for pets

On the agenda at today’s Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting is an amendment to the county’s Animal Control Ordinance. A proposed revision would require pet owners to have their animals micro-chipped if they’re found wandering about and taken to a shelter.

“If the animal is found at large and has a micro-chip the owner will not be fined on the first offense and the Animal Control Officer will make reasonable effort to locate the owner,” the proposed rule reads. “If the animal is found at large and taken to the shelter, the animal must be micro-chipped at the owner’s expense before the animal can be returned to the owner.”

The micro-chips would help animal-control officers identify lost animals and return them to their owners.

The proposed rule comes in the wake of last week’s news that micro-chips, or tiny radio-frequency identification tags implanted beneath the skin, have been linked with cancer in lab mice. Studies published in veterinary and toxicology journals from 1996 to 2006 found that lab mice injected with the chips occasionally developed malignant tumors, according to an article in Time. There’s been less conclusive evidence that the chips have similar effects in cats and dogs, but a news story about the death of a certain micro-chipped French bulldog named Leon (who’s pictured here) has made waves in the technology world. VeriChip, the corporation that manufactures implantable RFID microchips, has taken some heat since the story broke.

For more local news on RFID technology, see the special Xpress technology issue that appears on stands tomorrow.

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor



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17 thoughts on “Commissioners to look at mandatory micro-chipping for pets

  1. #1stunner

    perhaps city council will require these in all those who are homeless, next?

  2. That’s a difficult situation. I imagine it’d really depend on if they came from good homes. As a good rule of thumb, homeless terriers are good, and retrievers are bad.

  3. Johnny D.

    You guys are not focused on the subject: There is some scientific evidence that leads to suspect that those micro-things implanted may well cause severe damage, even death.

    But, I am not such a diehard and I admit that the thread you’ve openend up is both interesting and fun.
    Here is my contribution:
    What about the few Blackwater’s beasts that may go back to their headquarters based in your lovely N.C.? After their license of operating in Iraq being revoked, the chip thing might be an option to take into account given that there is some likelihood of they being expelled for not so well integrating within the locals.

    P.S. Not to forget human beings belong to the animal kingdom too, no one person to be hurt by being told animal or beast.

  4. Johnny, all that Blackwater stuff is down east… we don’t consider anything east of the Eastern Continental Divide to be ‘North Carolina.’ Besides, they make that watery vinegar-base barbecue sauce down there, so how could we possible take them serious?

    And why did you think we were focused at all?

  5. Johnny D.

    My apologies for the lack of local knolewdge. I am an outsider and Rebecca supporter.
    Just wanted to prevent your precious mountain haven from some guys that do not appear to fit in fairly well within local communities, by tagging them as well.
    OK, Google Maps… North Carolina is pretty extensive territory, and BW HQ is… far away. Beg your pardon.

    Anyway, are you willing to tag with a potentially damaging device your adored cat, dog, parrot… ant… because it is going to be enforced by law? Think about Ms.Lonely whose only and most beloved living thing on Earth is her cat.

    And I am not veg, I very much like any kind of nutritional death animal. I enjoy the beef steak thick and rare.

  6. Just FYI, the local pet detective, Millie Sharpe, recommends microchipping your pets. She notes that if someone steals your dog and takes his collar off, a microchip or a tat is the only way to prove that the animal belongs to you.

  7. Stewart David

    Regarding the risk of cancer from microchips, the following has been forwarded to me. I’m told that it was posted on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians list serve in response to the issue. I can’t provide a link, as I am not a member.

    1) The mice in the studies reported were genetically predisposed to
    cancer and do not represent the genetic diversity we see in our
    companion animals or people.

    2) The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has the most
    comprehensive reporting system for reporting adverse reactions from
    microchips and have collected data for over 10 years. Currently with
    well over 3 million pets microchipped, they have only had reports of 2
    tumors reported in 10 years. This adverse reaction rate is far lower
    than for any other common elective procedure such as spay/neuter and

    3) There is only 1 reported case of a sarcoma connected to a microchip
    site in one dog in the literature.

    4) Thousands of pets are recovered each year worldwide from microchips.

  8. Johnny D.

    Pretty obvious there is a need of confronting reliable scientific sources with accurate referencing.

    Stewart made a strong statement here IMAO, which makes me shut up, and read attentively instead, given it is a matter off my domain.

    P.S. Love meat anyway, my teeth are designed to tear and chew it up in order to facilitate its digestion and provide me with nutritive substances and incomparable pleasure.

  9. Sara D

    Okay, as long as Mumpower gets chipped, I promise I’ll chip my gerbil. Otherwise, they’ll make interesting earrings.

  10. No way in hell will I microchip my pets. People are next, its all incremental totalitarian control. Don’t fall for it. And at the election booth, I will note vote for a single incumbent.

  11. travelah

    I believe microchipping every politician in the county would help tremendously in identifying just where do these pols slip off to when it’s time to vote on a controversial issue. If a couple of those chips are meeting in a cubbyhole somewhere we can either object to a closed session or call the Waynesville vice squad

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