January 15, 2002


 AVMA supports selling universal scanners to private practitioners

Posted Jan. 1, 2002

A letter requesting private practitioners be allowed to purchase universal microchip scanners will be sent by the AVMA to the two companies selling microchip equipment in the United States.

After a review of letters from private practice veterinarians complaining about the inability to purchase microchip readers that identify all commercially available microchips, the Council on Veterinary Service recommended that the AVMA appeal directly to the companies.

The problem is that if an animal is scanned at a veterinary hospital that uses microchips from one company, the supplied scanner will identify only that company's chips. Other companies' chips are either not detected by the scanner, or, if detected, their codes cannot be read.

Many microchip retailers will only supply universal readers to animal shelters, animal control offices, humane societies, or similar institutions.

Veterinarians, according to the council, should have equal access to universal scanners so that when a stray animal is presented at their clinic, they can properly identify that animal and reunited it with its owner.