Microchipping of dogs, cats and horses
A microchip is a tiny computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, which has an identification number programmed into it. The microchip is inert, has no battery and uses no energy, and will last for the life of the animal. The microchip is injected under the animal's skin between the shoulder blades (or into the nuchal ligament for horses) and is a simple procedure, which causes no side effects.
To identify the animal, a scanner that reads microchip numbers is passed over the animal's skin. The scanned number can then be checked against a register, which provides details of the animal's ownership.
Click here for more information about permanent identification technology.
Purpose of microchipping
A microchip provides a permanent form of identification which can quickly reunite owners with lost or injured pets. All cats and dogs being registered with the local council for the first time, must also be microchipped.
Councils also have the power to require compulsory microchipping of all cats and dogs in their municipality (check with your local council to see if this applies).
Where to get microchipped
Only authorised implanters (such as registered veterinarians or authorised implanters who have completed the required training) can implant microchips – contact your vet or local council for details.
The authorised implanter is responsible for sending Prescribed Identifying Information about your pet to a licenced microchip registry.
Domestic animal (microchip) registries hold the records for cats and dogs microchipped in Victoria. Registries must comply with quality standards and be licensed with the department.