Permanent ID, microchips and scanners

In Victoria only certain types of microchips can be implanted in horses, dogs and cats. There are set requirements for scanners used by implanters and at pounds and shelters.

Permanent identification devices

Only permanent identification devices that meet Australian standards and have the first 3 digits of the number as the manufacturer code can be used.

Generally this means ISO microchips however, veterinarians and implanters should check with their wholesalers to make sure the microchips they implant meet legislative requirements.

Microchips with a manufacturer code of 999 must not be implanted in dogs, cats or horses. These microchips are illegal for implantation as they do not uniquely identify an animal.

Legislative requirements

Prescribed permanent identification device means a microchip or other device which:

  • complies with the requirements, is AS 5019-2001
  • contains unique identification numbers that complies with AS 5018-2001 — and the first 3 digits displayed are the manufacturers code for the device as set by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) or any permanent identification device (microchip) implanted before May 2003 that uniquely identifies the animal
  • is able to be permanently implanted in an animal
  • is designed to transmit stored information when activated by a reader.

Exemption from Victorian requirements

Where horses, cats or dogs are being exported to a country with different requirements to Victorian legislation, you can implant the animal with the chip required by the country of import.


Scanners used by implanters and at pounds and shelters must be able to detect all prescribed permanent identification devices and the 3 most common non-ISO devices used. These devices are:

  • AVID 125 kHz non-encrypted microchip
  • Destron 125 Khz microchip
  • Trovan 128 kHz microchip.

Scanning at pounds and shelters

Pounds and shelters must scan all cats and dogs within 3 days of entry, and horses must be scanned as soon as reasonably possible on entry into the pound or shelter facility for the presence of a permanent identification device.

Under the Domestic Animals Act councils must then notify owners in writing within 4 days of a cat or dogs impoundment (unless the animal is reclaimed).

Under the Impounding of Livestock Act, if the horse owner is identified through a microchip the owner must be notified in writing of impoundment of the horse (unless reclaimed).

Page last updated: 03 Jul 2020