"Collar IDs and The AVID Microchip"
Written and contributed by Jim Rummel, D.V.M., Edinboro, PA, 8/17/97
All companion and breeding birds should be individually identified to assist in recovery if lost and assist in maintenance of medical and genealogical records. Many breeders apply closed legs bands when chicks are young. While they present a slight risk of entrapment closed bands are preferable to no identification, especially for breeding birds. Microchips, which can be implanted into the muscle or under the skin, are a reliable means of identification but require electronic readers to verify identification. Tattoos may be used but often fade or become illegible with time. Footprints may have some application in identification.
Microchipping Your Birds:
In case your bird ever "flies the coup" or gets lost somehow (or stolen and sold), it is a good idea to have some sort of pet identification in place. Pictures of your pet with any identifying features (such as I.D. no. on any leg band). It is also a good idea to teach your "talking" bird to repeat his home address and/or your telephone number.
Did you know that the largest reason for pet death isn't disease, parasites, hit by car etc. It's euthanasia because a pet is lost and can not be identified. Almost 20 MILLION a year. Knowing the tremendous emotional loss, we tend to forget about the very real logistical problems and the real costs involving euthanasia and disposal of these animals. Humane organizations are overwhelmed. This money could surely be used for better things.
I personally recommend collars with ID tags AND we strongly recommend the AVID microchip to all of our clients. We have had 14 recoveries at my hospital alone! Tatoos often fade, can be easily altered in moments and when an animal is found with a tatoo... which group do you call? Do Humane organizations roll Rottweilers over and look for tatoos? I know they don't.
Microchips are passive transducers that require no power source and are only active when stimulated by a specific radio frequency. A scanner can ID a chipped dog in less than a second. I believe the figure is .04 seconds. This is not the same technology where something can be "tracked" from a distance. Those are active transmitters.
We recommend AVID for many reasons. First, the scanner reads all the chips that are sold in the United States. That includes The Home Again (which is actually made by a company called Destron), all other Destron chips including the original 400 MHz Destron chip (now these chips are 125 Mhz), the InfoPet #1, and all the AVID chips. The "universal" readers that were all programmed by AVID also ID a European Chip called Trovan that was sold for a very short time in the U.S. It is not legally sold now due to patent infringements.
The AVID chip is used by our U.S. Defense Department and the Ministry of Defence in England. Thirteen state Veterinary Associations have reviewed the different chips and manufacturers and all have either signed contracts with AVID that commit them to act as a database backup for 25 years or have come out and directly endorsed AVID. You see, AVID has never "orphaned" a database. Destron on the other hand has used many different distributors down through the years and when they switch distributors sometimes the database was lost. Then the chipped dogs could not be returned to their owners. AVID's PetTrac database has returned almost 30,000 animals to their owners!!!
AVID also tracks each chip to the hospital or shelter that purchases the chip immediately upon purchase so there is no delay while a registration is being sent into a database. If I chip a dog and it gets lost as the owner leaves my office and is found two hours later...it can be ID'd! The AVID chip is accepted by the AKC recovery network and is the recommended chip of the CKC and the Mexican Vet. Assoc.
I truly believe that microchipping is the safest, most cost effective positive identification sytem available. I have been a little disappointed in my profession. Veterinarians are treating this as a luxury option and should be promoting it as primary preventative health care item for their client's pets.
Just think of the money and lives that could be saved if 80% of the displaced animals were returned to their owners versus never identified! Just think if a Humane organization could hold a repeat offender accountable because that person could not deny that the offending animal was theirs!
The livestock industry is now seeing the advantage of having a reliable way to back track tainted food supplies etc.! The uses are endless.
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