In Class Reflection

How microchips help:

  • Returning lost pets to their homes reduces the need to re-home pets as well as the rate at which people get new pets. It also helps to keep animal shelters empty, or at least less full so attention can be given to those dogs that do not have homes or owners who want them back.
  • Keeping records on individual livestock more accurately and more easily greatly simplifies the farmers work put into quality assurance programs. By just scanning an animal and having that animals unique number, the farmer can access all of the important information about each of his livestock. Easily kept records also allows for diseases and issues with the livestock after leaving the farm they were born on to be traced back to that farm, and the problem can then be taken care of at the source.

How microchips hinder:

  • The lack of a unified database and a single frequency has caused people to put their faith in the microchip they implanted into their dog, which sometimes fails to aid in returning their pet to them. Many animal shelters have a microchip scanner, but most have one that only reads one frequency. If the microchip the animal has does not have that frequency the animal’s identification number cannot be found. Relatively few animals have been euthanized because of this issue of frequency difference, but enough have that it is a problem.
  • The limiting ability of the scanners can cause trouble for farmers. The farmer can read the microchip out in the field, but he can only get the number of the animal, a computer or device capable of connecting to the database the information is in is required. Taking such a device, even one as portable as a laptop, into the field is unrealistic and too much work. This lack of on – the – spot data creates problems if the farmer does not know when an animal was vaccinated, or if it were at all, and needs to know right away whether to vaccinate or not.

Which outweighs the other:

  • The ability to know who a lost dog or cat belongs to is vital. The lack of a unified database or one single frequency is a problem, but it does not hinder the importance of the microchips themselves. The rate at which microchips are misread is not high enough to through out the system as a whole.

Most interesting fact and why:

  • The use of microchips on the farm is one of the most interesting applications of the device. Use in cats and dogs has been seen for a while, but the use of microchips in the livestock industry is a newer way of utilizing the device. With the new purpose came a new update, microchips used on farms can now alert the farmer to changes in internal temperature, and when the animal crosses a pre-designated boundary, such as a property line. The new microchips can also help veterinarians know which vaccinations to give that animal.
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