Help ensure obligatory dog microchipping is not legislated in Malta by signing this petition form.
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Full Petition Text:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns about the microchip:The potential risks to health associated with the device are: adversetissue reaction; migration of implanted transponder; compromisedinformation security; failure of implanted transponder; failure ofinserter; failure of electronic scanner; electromagnetic interference;electrical hazards; magnetic resonance imaging incompatibility; and needle stick.
PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MALTA – We, the undersigned believe that:Mandatory microchipping legislation must be halted and banned inMalta and everywhere.Mandatory animal microchipping legislation that has already been enacted in Malta and anywhere else must be reversed.Pet owners must not be penalized or discriminated against for refusing to have their animal microchipped.Pet owners must be advised of all risks associated with microchipping.Veterinarians must report all adverse (and all suspected adverse) microchip reactions to an official, objective, adverse reporting organisation.
Regarding Compulsory Dog Microchipping
Nobody has explained (as requested by the writer) which conditions might qualify a dog for exemption nor how the vet might determine whether a dog has a qualifying condition;assistants at the writer’s local vet didn’t know; and the writer has not had a response from the Maltese Veterinary Association to an email (in 2011) in which he enquired about conditions forexemption. It’s odd, to say the least, that noone seems to know. And it doesn’t inspire confidence in the integrity of the legislation.
Here is what he wrote to MVA:”I would like to ask the Malta Vetinerary Association when it willbecome compulsory to microchip dogs andsecondly, whether there are any conditions under which a dog is notrequired to be microchipped eg illness, etc.”
They replied “It is already compulsory to microchip and register dogs in Malta. However the law will not be enforced before April 2012. To the best of our knowledge there are no contra-indications to microchipping.”
It is completely ridiculous that the owner of a dog can’t decide toexempt the dog from microchipping but can appoint a proxy (the vet)who can make the decision on the owner’s behalf! (If the vet can! It’sa bit uncertain as to whether the vet knows what he or she can or can’t do!)
There are various risks including cancer and other tumours, documented in scientific peer reviewed papers, which can’t be poo-pooed away by Government.For details see this link:http://www.maltanetworkresources.com/safe-to-microchip-animals/
There is another recent study that looks at the cancer and chip link, this time in cats – “Microchip-associated fibrosarcoma in a cat” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21535253) – this was written by the Italian researchers who wrote the paper on Léon the french bulldog (http://www.noble-leon.com) a few years ago.
The following article explains many of the problems with chipping:http://www.chipmenot.org.uk/articles/are-pet-owners-being-misled-regarding-the-safety-and-reliability-of-microchip-implants.html
ALTERNATIVES TO MICROCHIPPING
For a microchip to be of value a dog would have to have been found by someone and then taken to a vet or a pound forscanning. The view was taken that his collar-tag with phone number would suffice. Of course there is now the possiblity of embedding a GPS RFID chip or similar in the collar tag,this would have given the dog owner the means to track and to find his dog without passively waiting for someone else to find him (if he hadn’t already been stolen).
With mature and disciplined dogs, there is no longer a problem with straying and, accordingly, need for neither a microchip nor a GPS device.If you are committed to the microchip then it should be your decision and your resposibilty to go down that road.But there are alternatives such as tattoos and adequate fencing; there is also the GPS device; and, for dangerous dogs, muzzles (required in some jurisdictions). A microchip won’t stop a dog biting the postman.A muzzle would. Should you be interested in the GPS device, here’s a link: http://ezinearticles.com/?Do-Pet-GPS-Microchips-Exist?&id=4101312
By means of Google or your preferred search engine you may be able to find further information on GPS devices which don’t require medical implant.
Whether microchipping or an alternative, it is reiterated that it should be your choice and your decision and not the Government’s.
Even though time is running out in Malta to get the Government to repeal or amend the microchipping law before it becomes effective, in April 2012, it is not too late.
You can sign the (wordwide) “Stop mandatory animal microchipping” petition:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/5/stop-mandatory-animal-microchipping/
You can sign this petition! Once you have signed the petition, you can help even more by askingyour family and friends to sign.
“Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the lawof the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.” Albert EinsteinGood people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Plato
SOME BIG WORDS
Liberty, justice, freedom, equality! The history of mankind has been astruggle to shake off repression and tyranny. The struggle is still going on in The Middle East: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya where dictators have been toppled, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. Freedom. Freedom to choose. Freedom with responsibility. Individualresponsibilty, free from bureaucratic control. Sounds nice. It is. Butwhat’s happening today? Our lives are becoming increasinglyburdened by laws, compliance issues, restrictions and so on, andbecoming increasingly complex. These days it seems that everythingfrom your tax return to having a tree lopped involves phone calls,discussion, bureaucracy and paperwork.In general, though, Malta has good governance. But there arepoints at which, thanks to the complexity of many aspects of ourlives, and the speed with which laws are introduced (and thensometimes reversed by a newly elected government), that goodgovernance is being stretched to breaking point. Has “breaking point”has been reached in Malta by the new microchipping requirement?In a society, there is a “contract” whereby the individual surrenderssome freedom to a higher authority in the interests of order andharmony. So laws are made.So, in Malta you have been required to make sure that your dog does not cause harm or disturbance to others. The “social contract”. Registration has been the means whereby, sometimes imperfectly, order and harmony are maintained (by the Local Council) in the world of dogs, their owners, the neighbours and the postman.You have had the choice of:a) getting a dog and registering it;b) getting a dog and not registering it, thereby breaking the law andtaking the risk of penalty;c) (if you don’t like registration and don’t want to break the law)not getting a dog.
But along comes compulsory microchipping. In Malta, and presumablyelsewhere, it doesn’t matter that you got your dog before thelegislation was passed. You must still have your dog chipped! This isretrospectivity at its worst! And the point is this: had you knownthat compulsory microchipping were to be introduced, you might have chosen not to get a dog.
In a few places around the world (such as areas controlled by the Taliban) all men MUST wear beards. Elsewhere they are generally freeto choose as to whether they grow beards or shave them off.In Malta and Gozo all dogs MUST be chipped.(From 1st April 2012 the Maltese Government will have deprived you ofyour choice in this matter if you live in Malta.) The freedom ofchoice which you had previously enjoyed has been taken from you.If compulsion in the wearing of a beard is tyrannical, is compulsionin getting your dog chipped any less so?”Democracy!” I hear you say, “The microchipping law was passed by anelected government!” Well, yes, but let’s remember that Hitler waselected.
The Government’s rationale for having all dogs microchippedhas been that it would be in the interests of better dog control aswell as in the interests of reuniting people with lost pets.There may be good arguments for microchipping in relation to reunitingpeople and pets, but there are alternatives (to be discussed below).As for better dog control, it is probable that compulsorymicrochipping will have the opposite effect to that indended.The reasons:People who have unregistered dogs (already in breach of the law) arehighly unlikely to have those dogs chipped, so there will be no netbenefit to Local Councils, the number of unregistered strays enteringpounds being much the same as before.But the problem will be compounded when the number of registrations(through renewal) drops dramatically as a consequence of microchippingbeing compulsory. It’s likely that many people (who have unchippedpets), though they’ve always previously complied with registration,will not do so this year because they see no need to microchip theirpets and because they refuse to be forced to do so.In the quote from Plato, above, there is reference to bad peoplefinding a way around laws. But these people are not bad. Rather, inthis instance, it is the law that’s bad. Civil disobedience resultsfrom bad laws. Think of the Boston Tea Party, the start of the USAbecoming independent. Think of the current turmoil in the Middle East.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
The microchipping law in Malta (and other countries probably)does not take into account that, just as people are different, soare their pets. It’s absurd that someone who has a mature petwhich never strays should be forced into having the petchipped. It’s collective punishment! Because one or two kids arenaughty the whole class is kept back after hours.Surely the pet owner is in the best position to decide what’sappropriate for his or her pet! Surely, in an enlightened society,people should have the freedom and responsibility to determine how tomanage their lives according to individual circumstances and needs.No, one size does not fit all.
There is no provision, in the new microchipping law, for the countryof Malta to compensate a pet owner in the event of injury or deathresulting from the pet being chipped. Any claim for compensation wouldbe under common law and would involve the owner going to Court. Claimwould be against the vet. The State, which forces microchipping on petowners, takes no responsibilty should something go wrong.
In the interpretation of “debate” as “robust scrutiny from a contrarian viewpoint”, there was no debate.We are not aware that a debate has happened inparliament yet either.
THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG
Murphy’s Law : “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”We know that things go wrong. Sometimes government (or one of itswings or agencies) is involved, sometimes not. Sometimes anotherorganisation is responsible. Sometimes it’s a bit of both. In the caseof pet microchipping the following parties might be involved ifsomething goes wrong: the pet, the pet’s owner, the manufacturer &distributor of the chip, the vet, the Local Council, the Government,the Courts.
Consider just a few of the countless things that have gone wrong: canetoads; asbestos; home insulation; the Concorde; Space Shuttle Columbia; mining disasters; oil spills; nuclear accidents………Enough?
It would be naive in the extreme to assume that nothing will go wrong, or following, the implantation of a microchip.Let’s consider another instance of things going wrong: the Toyota recall. Here’s an extract from a page on Wikipedia: As of January 28, 2010, Toyota had announced recalls of approximately5.2 million vehicles for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, andan additional 2.3 million vehicles for the accelerator pedal problem.Approximately 1.7 million vehicles are subject to both. Certainrelated Lexus and Pontiac models were also affected. The nextday, Toyota widened the recall to include 1.8 million vehicles in Europe and 75,000 in China. By then, the worldwide total number ofcars recalled by Toyota stood at 9 million.One can imagine the mayhem and consternation that would be caused ifthe main manufacturer of chips being supplied to Australian vets wereto recall a batch on account of an identified defect? Particularly ifthat batch had already been used for implantation!
There have been reports of problems with chips “migrating”, somepeople being disturbed by the problem, others minimising its importance.There have also been reports of problems with scanners, sometimes inrelation to chips which have “migrated”, sometimes in relation tocompatibility between the scanner and the chip.Perhaps the scariest aspect of microchip implants is the possibilty(seen by some as worth the risk) of resulting injury, cancer or death.
The leaflet sent to Maltese homes was quite incorrect, among other things it said the microchip did not transmit anything. This is blatantly incorrect. The RFID microchip in fact does transmit information (see below).
For your reference, here are some links including our original article.