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Microchips for Dangerous Animals? 185

lucabrasi999 writes "CNN is reporting that Japan is moving towards requiring all owners of potentially dangerous animals (such as crocodiles and pythons) to have microchips installed in case the animal gets loose. Apparently there has been a wave of 'wild' animals that have been escaping their captivity. Did you know that it is actually possible to take your pet snake for a 'walk'?"
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Microchips for Dangerous Animals?

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  • Re:PETA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ucklak ( 755284 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:50PM (#13800480)
    Who cares what PeTA thinks anyway. They're not the de-facto animal rights saviours although the media might want you to think otherwise which is what they want - exposure. They're more like terrorists and an organized crime ring. The fact that they hire known felons and arsonists to destroy businesses should be a clue that they're not on the up and up.
    The ASPCA is the organization that actually cares about the well being of animals. []
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @11:38PM (#13800664) Homepage
    Another poster pointed out that this is required for all animals (or at least dogs and cats) in Australia. That'd be fine with me. My dog has one. I would fully support requiring it for all licensed animals (and, of course, all animals require a license). To be able to easily identify the owner of a dog that has been abused (ostensibly by its owner) would be a great thing. It would then also be possible to identify the facilitators of other crimes (like the owners of vicious pit-bulls who either don't socialize or train them to attack then let them run free). Dog gets eaten by an alligator in the neighborhood pond? Now we could find out who owned it and fine them (or whatever) for "improper disposal".

    As for any cost of the chips (I don't know what it costs, and my dog was chipped about 6 years ago so I'd imagine it has changed since anyway), by requiring all pets (except, perhaps, rodents like mice, hamsters, and ferrets; as well as small birds and small fish) to be chipped would drive the price down (economies of scale and what not).

    It could also be used to track down puppy mills. If breeders are required to chip their animals, it would be pretty trivial to find the puppy mills (or at least many of them) and shut them down if they deserve it. I suppose it would also make tracking of pedigree bloodlines easier.

    I'm all for it. Let's do it in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 16, 2005 @12:28AM (#13800829)
    I'm currently serving in the military in Japan, and microchips are actually required for pets that servicemembers import into the country when they PCS here. There's also a pretty extensive list of which animals are allowed and not allowed (some of the animals that are prohibited from being imported are easily bought right off base, though).

    From what some of the NCOs in my unit tell me, one part of the whole quarantine process involves making sure that the animal has a chip, that the chip is working, and that the animal is not suffering from health problems due to the chip.
  • Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by seifried ( 12921 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @01:17AM (#13801106) Homepage

    My cat is chipped, I had a choice: she can wear a collar with a tag (which I have to keep on her, make sure is on, etc, etc.), she can get a tattoo (which takes about an hour) or she could get chipped (takes about 2 minutes, she didn't seem to mind, neither did my parent's cats when they were done). Why is it such a stretch to require chipping for exotic pets? I know locally the entire chipping process with registration costs about $100 (one time cost).


  • dangerous.... blah! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:13AM (#13801419) Homepage
    I'm a reptile owner with boas, pythons, a few corn snakes, and a texas rat snake. The boa constrictors will eventually get to be fairly large, about 7 feet for the male and 8 to 10 for the female. The pythons, Royals (also known as Ball Pythons) and Spotteds will be hard pressed to grow past 5 feet.

    The boas are the only ones I would consider to be a potential threat to other pets in the house, and that point is still years off. They are by far my most docile snakes, and only exhibit a feeding response when presented with rats. The smell of my cats or dog elicits no reaction from them whatsoever.

    Ball Pythons are probably one of the fussiest snakes when it comes to feeding and they are of no danger to pets or people. They're very timid and there have been incidents of Balls being maimed or killed by live mice that were dropped into the enclosure when the snake wasn't hungry.

    My town considers any snake over two feet long "bad", yet would take no action when our previous landlords pit bull came after my family five times. I find this somewhat ironic. Dogs are considerably more dangerous to people than any small or mid-size snake.

    Large snakes such as burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, african rock pythons, and anacondas should never be handled solo, and bringing them out into the public is just plain nuts.

    Burms typically have a docile temperament, but you don't want to be carrying a 10 foot long snake that gets a whiff of guinea pig off someone that walks by. The others listed there are known for their bad tempers, and the Rock python has been confirmed to have actually killed and eaten at least one person in its native habitat. Despite pictures of other snakes that are purported to have killed and eaten humans, neither I nor any of my friends in the herp community have found any documentary evidence to reinforce this. To the contrary, several of the pictures that make the e-mail rounds have turned out to be phonies.

    Very very rarely, a large snake will kill it's owner. This is usually a mistaken feeding response. Like a monitor lizard, a snake that has taken the scent of prey has a one track mind. So if you're in the way of the food, or moving when the prey isn't it's a good way to get hit. The snake will then strike, hold and constrict. They don't crush bone, but actually tighten around the torso with each exhalation of breath until the victim asphyxiates. If the victim happens to be a person, the snake won't realize its error until too late.

    On the other hand, these animals don't constrict as a matter of defense. Their strike is a fine deterrent. The strike of an adult burm or Rock has been described as feeling like being struck by a 12lb hammer.

    That's why I'm content with my relatively small snakes :)
    When I'm walking the dog at night, sometimes my female boa comes along for a ride on my arm, but they never see the street during the day.

    I've been considering buying an Avid chip system to tag my snakes. But this is for personal security rather than legislated responsibility. When you get into the rarer color morphs [] it can get quite expensive, and whole collections have been stolen.

    Anyway, I'm all for chipping pets, "dangerous" or not, but I really hate how the label gets stuck on some animals because of irrational fears. (Freaking out if you find a croc in your front hallway is not irrational. Feel free to scream and piss yourself. Me, I'll grab a camera and keep my distance.)

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