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Why are we against Microchips?



About Microchips

My Experience

Scientific Data

Alternatives to Microchipping

What is a Microchip?

Microchip Problems Outlined

Links and Resources



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

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Griffonpoint Kennel Stands Against Microchipping

Microchipping is for human convenience alone. Identification through Tattoos is better for the animal, and can result in recovery if the animal is lost. 

Before you Microchip your Griffon, evaluate the risks. Years ago, we implanted Microchips into every puppy, believing that we were doing the right thing for the pups and for their owners.


There is plenty of scientific data showing problems with microchips.




For those who are not familiar with microchip implants:

Microchips are approximately 12 mm X 2.1 mm. The glass container contains a transponder that when activated by certain radio frequencies will emit an identification number. To be read, current technology involves holding a microchip reader (also referred to as a “scanner”) within a few inches of the microchip implant until the reader "beeps" and produces the microchip number.

Although it sounds simple enough, there’s a lot more that should be considered before implanting a microchip in a horse (or in any other animal):

1. Foreign object: First and foremost is the fact that no one should be forced or coerced to implant a foreign object in their horse.

2. Health risks: Animals have developed infections, abscesses and lumps because of microchip implants.

Horses have also experienced neurological damage because of microchip implants. This problem has been documented by Dutch veterinarians. A Dutch veterinary report regarding neurological problems associated with a horse’s microchip implant is available here:
http://www.invisio.nl/antichip/BriefLaarakkerenconfr.pdf. The English
translation of the vet report is available here:
http://www.invisio.nl/antichip/tekstlaarakkereng.htm. Also, a pattern
that has been observed in some microchipped horses is that they have
difficulty bending their neck to the left. (The designated site to
implant a microchip in a horse is in the nuchal ligament, on the left
side of the neck).

Scientific data shows that a variety of species have developed cancer
because of microchip implants.We should be especially concerned about
implanting a potentially carcinogenic object into Griffons.

3. Migration of implanted microchip: The microchip implant can move from the original implant site. Movement of the device within the body can cause health problems for the horse. When microchips move around in the horse’s body, it also becomes difficult to locate and, therefore, read the implant.

Although some microchip brands have an anti-migrational sheath on part
of the chip that is supposed to prevent the device from moving around
the body, researchers who examined microchip-induced tumors in rodents
observed that the growths often started at the end of the microchip
that had the anti-migrational sheath. The researchers write:

“Although there was variation in the extent of neoplastic involvement
of tissue immediately surrounding the transponder [microchip] site, it
appeared that tumor(s) arose in the mesenchymal tissue surrounding the
polypropylene component [anti-migrational sheath] of the transponder,
initially involving the barbed area and then in some cases extending
completely around the entire transponder site.”

4. Loss of microchip implant: In addition to being “lost” within a Griffon’s body, a microchip implant can be expelled from a Griffon’s body.

5. Failure of microchip implant: For a variety of reasons, implanted microchips simply do not work.

6. Failure of electronic scanner: For a variety of reasons, scanners cannot read, or even detect, the implants all of the time.

7. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) incompatibility: One of the problems of using microchip implants with MRI machines is that the implant can impede MRI diagnostics. The authors of a Japanese study write, “There was significant signal loss and image distortion over a wide range around the area where the microchip was implanted. This change was consistent with susceptibility artifacts, which rendered the affected area including the spinal cord undiagnostic.”

8. Lifespan of the microchip: According to pet promotional literature, the microchip implant lasts the lifetime of the pet. However, it is a vague answer to a specific and important question. Human data also fails to provide a precise answer. In 2004, Angela Fulcher, vice-president for marketing and sales of VeriChip Corporation (now known as Positive ID), said, “We believe the tag [implantable microchip] can last for 20 years.” Other reports,
however, indicate that the average lifespan of a microchip implant is 10 to 15 years.

So, why would we consider implanting microchips in our horses when we
don’t even know the lifespan of the implant? Also, if the microchip
stops working, are we supposed to have it surgically removed from our
Griffon? Or are we expected to leave it in and implant a new one?
Also, who will pay for the replacement and/or removal of the implant?

9. Temperature-Sensing microchip implant: Microchip implants that are supposed to be able to read an animal’s temperature have also been sold. However, according to promotional literature by Destron Fearing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Angel Corporation, the temperature-sensing microchip implant is not accurate. In extra fine print it says:

Conclusion: The study horse’s actual temperature will be 3º higher
than Bio-Thermo readings. Knowing this, the horse’s manager or
veterinarian will be able to quickly and easily identify if the
horse’s temperature is abnormal by adding 3º to the Bio-Thermo
reading.” (http://www.destronfearing.com/documents/Companion%20Animal/2008%20LifeChip%20Datasheet%20(Canadian%20Companion%20Animal).08.01.08.pdf)

This means that important health decisions could be erroneously made
based on this inaccurate reading that is already known by the
manufacturer, revealed in "fine print".

Manufacturing and selling temperature-sensing microchip implants that
cannot even read an animal’s temperature accurately is simply unethical.
Why would anyone trust a company that operates in such an unethical

10. More risks: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also lists failure of insertion device, electromagnetic interference, compromised information security, electrical hazards and needle stick as other risks associated with microchip implant technology.


11. Cost: Breeders are required to have a working microchip scanner on the premises? If so, it is another $250+ investment to purchase a reader. Readers are specific to each microchip, so even if your Griffon is lost, the microchip will not be readable unless the matching Microchip scanner is available to read it, and as long as the attendant can find the microchip (in case of migration).

Also, if a Griffon experiences an adverse reaction to the microchip, Ask your Vet if they assume responsibility for the medical costs and damage done to the Griffon.

12. Cloning microchips and the integrity of microchip numbers:

Microchip implants can be cloned, and even infected with computer
viruses and worms?

Also, a recent document by Virbac Ltd UK says there are microchips
with a prefix of 978 that are currently on the market that clients may
believe are Virbac’s chips. However, the microchips do not belong to
Virbac and the company says it is not liable for any problems caused
by these chips.

It is also important to be aware of the fact that microchipping kits
are being sold via the internet. For example, EBay Germany sells
microchip kits. So, how are consumers supposed to know if microchip
numbers are valid, if the insertion device and microchip are sterile
etc …?

Shannon Ford





Thank you for visiting.

For further information, contact

Griffonpoint Kennel

Katy Steuhm katy@griffonpoint.com
California - USA

Shannon Ford shannon@griffonpoint.com
Alberta/British Columbia, Canada


e-mail info@griffonpoint.com

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © Shannon Ford 1997 - You may copy this page for personal use only, providing it is not changed, and that credit rests with the author, Shannon Ford.. ©Shannon Ford 1997