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A Warning from England & A Lesson in Hypocrisy

Click here to read the complete article
210 – August, 2018

by LEE CONNOR

Several years ago, an idea was mooted in the canine press about “compulsory microchipping” of dogs in the UK. The word ‘compulsory’ always makes me immediately suspicious. So, I began to look into the plan, who exactly was proposing it, who was defending it and more importantly, who was to gain from it. Unsurprisingly, the dog charities and celebrity vets were fully behind the scheme and several leading voices made some quite astounding claims: microchipping would stop dangerous dog attacks, put an end to puppy farming, and reduce the number of dogs in shelters. The Kennel Club also was fully behind the move. Who could possibly disagree with this teeny-weeny electronic modern day panacea for all of dogdom’s ills? “It’s just the size of a grain of sand and absolutely nothing to worry about,” the experts assured us. Case closed. Well, not quite… As I mentioned earlier, I am naturally suspicious of proposed laws. That suspicion certainly heightens when everyone is in complete agreement with the plan and no dissenting voices are speaking out against it. So, I began to delve into the subject of microchipping and posed a few of my concerns in an article published by Dog World.

It appeared that microchips were first tested on rats (a number of which later died of lumpy cancerous tumours). “How can people be certain that the same wouldn’t happen to their pets?” I asked. Scores of people had also raised concerns about the migration of these chips (chips moving into the foot, neck and even the tail). Was this a significant risk? I also dared to ask the question, “just how would chipping put an end to the number of dog attacks on children and the number of dogs in rescue?” Perfectly valid questions I thought. After all, I wanted to be assured that my pets would be safe, and I also wanted assurances that this legislation wouldn’t follow the pattern of other laws; where the good folk, the law-abiding citizens, obediently toe the line, pay up and comply; and the usual suspects, those who abuse, breed solely for financial gain, and then cruelly abandon their pets, simply thumb their noses and completely ignore the rules. The backlash from “the experts” was quite astounding. Who was I to question their authority? The dog charities, the Kennel Club, and leading vets all came out in a show of united force to stamp down hard on this insurrection. A lot of money had been invested in the plan, and there was the potential for a hell of a lot more money to be made from it. They claimed the piece was “hysterical nonsense”, that “rats were completely different than dogs,” and that “migration was extremely rare and, even when it did occur, posed no significant health risks.” Instead of being cowed by their response, I was fired up. I had obviously touched upon a nerve for them to roll out the big guns, so, I pressed on. I answered back with, “We are also very different to mice and rats. Yet, it doesn’t stop millions of rodents being used in experiments with drugs intended for humans.” I quoted several worrying cases of microchip migration where there had most definitely been an impact on the dog’s health, and once again, I politely asked how microchipping was going to stop or reduce dog attacks (were we all going to be issued with personal microchip scanners?) and dogs ending up in shelters. The authorities—rather tellingly—suddenly all fell silent. They probably hoped I would just go away, but sadly for them Dog World had the cojones to hire me as a columnist!

Click here to read the complete article
210 – August, 2018
 

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=148926

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