RFID is put to work to prevent the spread of rabies

June 21, 2005
Heres an application for radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that has nothing to do with satisfying Wal-Marts requirements a number of European

Here’s an application for radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that has nothing to do with satisfying Wal-Mart’s requirements – a number of European Union countries are using RFID to help prevent the spread of rabies.

European Union (EU) legislation has recently mandated the use of identification techniques for dogs, cats and ferrets traveling into and between member countries, primarily to thwart rabies. Beginning last October, for an eight-year transitional period, animals are regarded as identified only if they bear either a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic identification system (such as an RFID transponder). After this transitional period, only the electronic ID system will be valid (UK, Ireland and Malta already require the transponder).

The microchip number must also be reported in the “pet passport,” a booklet bearing records of vaccinations, tick treatments, clinical examinations and other data related to the animal. Sokymat, a supplier of RFID transponders, is supplying the electronic ID tags needed for the EU mandate.

Sokymat Food & Animal specializes in the development and production of RFID transponders especially designed for individual animal identification (cats, dogs, birds, cattle, fish). The small Glass Tag transponders provided by Sokymat can be painlessly implanted under the skin of the animal. Containing a unique 10-character alphanumeric code, Sokymat’s RFID transponders for animal identification are encased in a glass capsule about the size of a grain of rice. Once tagged and registered, pets are immediately and accurately identifiable.

After insertion of the microchip, the pet will be vaccinated against rabies and a passport will be sent directly to the veterinarian, who can then enter the details of the rabies vaccination and blood-test results, along with details of the microchip number, the date of its insertion and its location in the animal. The transponder will allow for identification of the pet and will authenticate its corresponding official pet passport papers containing medical and vaccination history. Animals with pet passports will avoid the mandatory six-month quarantine upon crossing state borders.

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