Is your dog microchipped? Your cat? Good for you if they are. But how would you feel if the government required you to microchip him? What if it mandated her microchip number be registered to the state?

If you live in New York you might already be intimately familiar with the issues that swirl around the concept of mandatory microchipping. Last year’s proposal to require microchips for dogs prompted many of you to motivate your friends, family and neighbors to oppose such restrictive canine-specific legislation.

The government said…

1-Mandatory microchipping means that lost dogs will be returned to their owners as quickly as possible.

2-It means that dogs will be safer and their owners better served by the more efficient system.

3-The government will save the taxpayers money by limiting owned animals’ drain on municipal shelter resources.

4-Public health will be improved by making it easier to ensure that all dogs are vaccinated against rabies.

5-Fewer dogs will be euthanized as a result.

Many dog people said…

1-Pets are not cars. Mandatory microchipping denigrates the role of pets as family members.

2-Our privacy rights are eroded by such legislation.

3-Microchip safety is not sufficiently well-established to carry out such a proposal. We need to be offered the right to decline anything that might hurt our animals.

4-Considering the incompatibility of some microchip readers (scanners) with many brands of microchips (and the general messiness surrounding the microchip industry) such a proposal would be fraught with confusion and/or mandatory double-microchipping.

5-Mandatory microchipping doesn’t help public health—it’s just another ploy to tax pet owners more.

Australia’s now become the newest target for this kind of legislation (thanks to Jonathan at PetDoc for this news). Queensland’s government has proposed a bill that would make microchips compulsory for cats and dogs. Reducing euthanasia rates is the proposal’s public relations backbone. But the same issues that motivated the dog base in New York are likely to arise.

…or are they?

Your take?