Canine chip project

A spokesman from the Ministry of Agriculture has announced plans for all of Portugal’s approximately two million dogs to be identified and registered in a national database by 2007. The ministry is to launch the first phase of the compulsory dog identification project using a new RFID (radio frequency identification) microchip made by a Canadian company, Digital Angel.

A spokesman from the company said: “We are delighted that the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture has selected Digital Angel’s RFID chip for the launch of this important programme, one of many in the planning stages throughout Europe. We were selected after a very competitive bid process, partly on the basis of our 15 years of proven results in the European market, both in terms of performance and reliability. Digital Angel is the original innovator, intellectual-property owner and the world’s largest marketer of implantable microchip technology for the companion pet marketplace. We consider our established technological platform to be unsurpassed by any other manufacturer.”

The dog identification programme is being conducted in conjunction with the country’s annual rabies vaccination drive. The ministry was apparently prompted to undertake the project because other countries in Europe had experienced excellent results with their pet identification campaigns and because the injectable electronic identification of pets is rapidly growing in popularity throughout the world.