Comments sought on microchipping

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The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that it will accept comments regarding the use of microchipping to identify animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act.

The agency will hold a final meeting to discuss the issue in San Diego, May 10. Several meetings have already taken place since late March in Centennial, Colo.; Boston; Baton Rouge, La.; Springfield, Mo.; and Riverdale, Md.

The USDA APHIS was directed by the conference committee report accompanying the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2006 to develop regulations for an open radiofrequency identification technology microchip system that would enable a scanner to read all microchips used for the identification of pets.

Also, the agency received a petition from the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families requesting that it consider establishing a national identification standard for pets and publish a notice requesting comments on the need for the adoption of criteria established by the International Standards Organization. The AVMA is a part of the coalition.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Sept. 6, 2006, to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0012, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

To submit a comment online, visit the Federal eRulemaking at and, in the Search Regulations and Federal Actions box, select Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from the drop-down menu, and then click on Submit. In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0012 to submit or view public comments, and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

For a copy of the notice that appeared in the Federal Register, log on to and follow directions to docket number APHIS-2006-0012 in the March 10, 2006, issue.