The board of Greyhounds Australasia have revised recommendations regarding standardised microchipping of all greyhounds by 2012, but have also recommended that the act of "ear-branding" continue in parallel.
Amongst the proposal is recommendations that temperature sensitive microchips be used to allow authorities to download any greyhounds health history, automatic weight record using sensors and sensors on starting boxes to detect if the right dog is being placed in the box.
Further proposals include recording the full history of the greyhound official race starts and unofficial trial times, feeding regime and times, therapeutic drug administrations and weight changes, all on the microchip and as well state regulatory authorities using automated photo-identity recognition technology and recording all that to the microchip.
Greyhounds Australasia (GA) at its September Board meeting received revised recommendations in regard to the microchipping of greyhounds for the Australian and New Zealand greyhound racing industries.
Specifically, the revised microchip recommendations are:
- All greyhounds whelped from 1 January 2011 are to be microchipped and ear branded in one ear
- All existing racing stock will be allowed to race without a microchip until they retire
- From 1 January 2012 all racing greyhounds will be eligible to race if indentified by either two ear brands or a microchip and one ear brand
The revised position addresses integrity concerns raised in some jurisdictions about the potential removal and duplication of microchips whilst allowing existing racing stock to be ‘grand-fathered’ from the requirement to be chipped.
Those concerns were confirmed when NSW based prolific breeder Paul Wheeler, who has agreed to participate in the microchip trial; successfully transferred a microchip from one greyhound to another after its "official" implantation.
Greyhounds Australasia Chief Executive Officer, Craig Taberner said, “If it were an industry requirement to microchip greyhounds and tattoo one ear, we would still be improving our animal welfare practices and it would provide the industry with the opportunity to embrace technology”.
“Mr Taberner went further by explaining some of the technology benefits associated with microchips and outlined them as follows”:
- Potential elimination of greyhound registration papers by electronic photo identification
- Uploading and downloading of greyhound data automatically into Controlling Body computer systems instead of manually keying data
- Monitor the health of a greyhound through the use of temperature sensor microchips
- Establish efficiencies at kenneling through the use of scanners
- The use of automatic weighing systems to replace the current manual system
- Additional integrity checks prior to boxing
- Offer industry advancements for participants who wish to monitor their greyhounds via recording of; weight changes, trial times, feeding regimes via a scanner and utilization of home computer associated technology
A final decision will be made on the microchipping of greyhounds at the Greyhounds Australasia meeting on the 26 November 2009 in Melbourne.