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Animal microchip management

Posted on : 23 March 2016

In thunderstorm season when dogs run off and horses bolt, the phones run hot at the Australasian Animal Registry (AAR). Administered by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, the AAR maintains the database of registered microchips implanted in pets and livestock. Since 1989, countless lost and stolen animals have been reunited with their owners through this not-for-profit service. Over 2 million animals including birds, cats, zoo animals and ferrets are registered throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Long-time RAS staffer Pat Cooper, who ran the AAR in its early days, immediately saw the benefits of the new technology when it was first introduced from the US, volunteering her own two dogs for an early implanting demonstration.

Recalling busy times at the Registry, especially on fireworks nights, Pat says, "Dogs do incredible things when there are frightening noises, like leaping extremely high fences. I've even seen dogs that have ripped their nails out because they've been so scared they tried to dig under concrete paths. But the amount of pleasure when you reunited a dog or a cat with its owner was just (to me being an animal fan), was special."

For owners of rare and valuable animals the AAR is an important insurance policy. It's also a great way to identify animals in competition as registration safeguards against ring-ins, which is why it's mandatory for every horse entered at the Sydney Royal Easter Show to be registered.

Thanks to the AAR, finding Fido, whatever the circumstances, might not be that hard.

WORDS: Vicki Hastrich
(Published March 2016)