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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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  • PETA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:33PM (#13800382)
    Has a group such as PETA made any comment with regards to this practice?

  • You Are Here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:34PM (#13800388) Homepage Journal
    People are the most dangerous animals.
  • HOW OUTRAGEOUS! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fireboy1919 ( 257783 ) <rustyp@fre[ ] ['esh' in gap]> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:35PM (#13800392) Homepage Journal
    Next thing you know, they'll be branding cattle, and tattooing ferrets!

    And the regulations will only get worse!

    Its only a matter of time before you have to have a license to keep exotic predators!

    Oh wait...that's the way it is now. I guess society wants to keep track of its animals.

    Carry on then.
  • Old news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Celsius 233 ( 913263 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:35PM (#13800393)
    The article has been up for three and a half days.

    Anyways, why don't they just not let people take these animals into public? Is it really a good idea to take your croc for a wlk? Or better yet, why not ban the possession of them outright?

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:36PM (#13800397)
    What exactly is a "potentially dangerous" animal? Most animals are potentially dangerous. Many dogs can easily harm humans. Will all dogs need to be embedded with such a device? Even cats can bite and scratch. Will they require tracking devices? Even timid bunny rabbits can give a good bite if provoked enough. Again, will they need such devices?

  • Thank goodness! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EraserMouseMan ( 847479 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:43PM (#13800435)
    That's why we are at the top of the food chain. It's nice not to have to worry about a snake eating your young while you're out foraging for food isn't it?

    Personally, I like being at the top of the food chain.
  • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:55PM (#13800504) Journal
    The article has been up for three and a half days.

    That's what happens when you visit a news aggregation site. Either stop complaining or leave. Having news be "old" is a problem inherent with slashdot, get over it already.
  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <.deviladv. .at.> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @11:07PM (#13800558) Homepage
    Yanno, I've always had a problem with people saying animals like pythons are dangerous. Well let's see, considering more people die annually from dog attacks than pythons [], we should be microchipping all pets. Okay, those figures are for the United States, but pythons are no more common as pets in Japan in the US. Hey, mice can carry diseases, despite the fact that most white mice owners don't let their mice near trash piles, but let's microchip them just in case! This is a non-problem.

    I also have a problem with opening the door to using the tracking of pets to track people. This smacks of over-reaction and the singling out of one class of pet owner either as a weird form of discrimination, or simply fear of what most people don't understand.

    Go out and start tagging mosquitos since they carry west nile and malaria, they are far more dangerous world wide to humans than pythons.
  • Re:Snake-walk! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by gibbdog ( 551209 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @11:37PM (#13800662)
    As odd is it may sound, I've actually worked with some snakes that I would consider border-line "socialized." I work with venomous snakes for a living and many people assume that venomous = vicious. While most Bothrops species (since you mentioned the fer-de-lance) are more than a handful to work with, I have a few specimens that aren't all that bad (comparatively speaking). I even have a few venomous snakes in my collection that don't have a feeding response, and actually have "learned" cage cleaning routine (although I still don't let my guard down with them). I've seen snakes on the venom lines that get habituated to the routine of getting milked and then know it is time to eat and don't get defensive towards their keeper. I've even seen some larger elapids that will follow curiously, and some that will mimic what they see.

    I really don't see this whole chipping thing working... I keep a large collection of venomous snakes, some of which are too small to microchip. I don't consider my animals "dangerous" to the general public, as the general public has no access to them. I put myself and only myself at risk by keeping these animals, and as long as I do it responsibly I see no reason for a government that knows so little about what they're trying to regulate to tell me what to do with my animals.
  • by bypedd ( 922626 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @01:41AM (#13801258)
    PETA's support (and, for that matter, many animal-focused organizations') support for microchipping generally is so that lost cats and dogs can be identified. And, much like a Diabetes bracelet, if an animal has an illness and needs medicine, that can be determined immediately. The Seeing-Eye, for one, likes to microchip their dogs because they are so valuable. It's a little bit of loss-protection so the owner can be found, but it's also a bit of theft-protection; as horrible as it sounds, stolen dog guides would be rather valuable as they are so well-trained. Although this story seems to lean toward microchipping as a way of identifying the owner in a case of neglect (if you left your alligator out to eat people, then you're in trouble, for instance). It's not a cruelty thing at all, then, for whatever reason it's done.
  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:41AM (#13801571) Journal
    There have been some attempts to chip people, but there is a pretty strong public dislike of it. There's a pretty strong business motivation for it, though -- lots of money at stake (look at e-voting, for instance). Putting chips in other things is a good way to get people used to the idea.

    There have already been moves [] in this direction, towards tagging prisoners in Mexico (the Mexican AG is tagged to help people get used to the idea), towards tagging schoolchildren in part of Japan, and so forth.

    On the whole, I don't really like the idea of tagging. We have a pretty robust social system precisely because it's not possible for a single group to tightly monitor and everyone in a state -- he'd be facing almost instant rebellion. However, at least tagging is better than biometrics (at least if someone compromises your chip, you can just get a new chip -- if someone compromises an iris scan, you have a problem).

    The other problem is the huge number of companies who are trying badly to sell RFID tags for everything. RFID is the most oversold technology since XML. Not that RFID isn't useful -- it's convenient for a specific (not *that* common) case of having to scan unusually-shaped objects, where retrying a scan is acceptable, where the speed is not that high, where there are not multiple objects close together, and where the range is very short (a foot or two). This pretty closely describes what happens at a retail checkout counter, which is the big killer app for RFID. On many similar boxes you can have scannable labels, on high-speed packages you need to be able to do a read faster, and so forth.

    The thing is, Wal-Mart has backed RFID in its products (which makes sense from its standpoint -- to handle that inventory problem), and now that there's a market, there are eight zillion companies trying to convince every business out there that they *need* RFID yesterday, which is absurd -- in many ways, RFID is a step *backwards* from less-complex technology.

    As you can tell, I'm not really thrilled about the motivations of most of the people pushing stuffing chips into everything either -- if there's a direct, measurable, pragmatic benefit, then it's worth evaluating something like this. Otherwise, it's just technology without a purpose.
  • Re:PETA? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lysergic.acid ( 845423 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @06:55AM (#13802396) Homepage

    Actually, that attitude is closer to what mainstream media wants you to think. Anyone who's ever worked with PETA or talked to PETA members would know that the organization is primarily about disseminating information and raising awareness about animal rights. It's funny how easily people buy into the astroturfing and FUD spread by corporate entities that dislike PETA but never take the time to even visit the PETA website or pick up a flier and read about actual campaigns.

    Contrary to popular beliefs, 99.9% of PETA members are not extremists (unless holding public talks, organizing vegetarian potlucks, and handing out fliers about animal rights are acts of terrorism). Even though the media likes to only cover radical actions taken by members of progressive movements these incidences are rarely representative of the movement as a whole. It's just a way to undermine their message by using red herring arguments magnifying the actions of a few radicals to take attention away from the real issues at hand. It's easier to say "they're a bunch of terrorists" than it is to defend draize tests that produce no useful scientific data or other immoral business practices.

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