Valid alternative to Microchipping
Microchip scanners are used for reunification at most kennels and shelters across the UK and although usually reliable for reunification, animal handlers often observe microchips having migrated towards the chest area, over the shoulder or down the back of the dog. Some dog owners have concerns over microchip migration and therefore don't have their dog permanently identified. DNA profiling based identification would be ideal for those dog owners who have concerns over microchip migration, allowing them to permanently identify their dog in case of loss or theft. Jackie Lines Kennel Manager, RSPCA, Block Fen said "I think that DNA profiling is a superb method for identifying stray and stolen animals. Firstly, I think it will be more accessible to dog owners than microchipping but also I think that it will be of particular interest to breeders who do not like microchipping and place a great deal of value on their dogs."
Microchipping is a widely used method of animal identification and in most cases results in reunification, however there have been reports of microchips being missed by dog wardens due poor scanning technique (the entire dog should be scanned just in case the microchip has migrated!), and not all scanners are compatible with all microchips being sold. Carol Bolton of the NDWA commented "We have experienced microchip/scanner incompatibility. Dog wardens would bring dogs into the kennels, which they said were microchipped and we would in 50% of cases not be able to find the microchip. This changed when we changed the brand of scanner we used, however we will never know how many chips we are still missing." Mona Jorgensen, Assistant Manager of RSPCA Shelter in Potters Bar said "We use" brand x" microchips, however we have implanted microchips into animals and on occasion have had vets scan dogs with a different brand of scanner and not been able to find the microchip. When the dogs are brought back to us for scanning we are usually able to detect the microchip, so there must be some incompatibility somewhere". The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are going to publish a report on the issue of microchip/scanner compatibility as a guide line to Vets across the UK, when this is published there should be additional clarity on this issue. DNA profiling would offer additional security where microchip scanner incompatibility results in a lack of positive identification so all permanently identified dogs can be reunited with their owners. Genetic Disease Testing