By ANDY SEVILLA
Posted on March 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm
Months of local opposition to mandatory microchip registration for pet dogs and cats resulted Tuesday night in the San Marcos City Council taking the first step towards rescinding the requirement.
The council directed city staff to prepare changes to the ordinance allowing for voluntary microchipping and eliminating the mandate.
As the council meeting began inside City Hall, about 300 protesters from all over Texas assembled outside in a less orderly fashion, holding signs and chanting in unison with phrases such as, “Say no to microchips” and, “My pet, my choice.”
The city council passed a new animal control ordinance in December providing the microchip requirement on the recommendation of the city’s animal shelter advisory board, which argued that microchipping would make it easier to return lost pets to their owners and reducing destruction of pets in the animal shelter.
However, San Marcos residents have complained for the last two months about the requirement. The issue has taken on momentum statewide and nationally, as well.
“I feel this is a blessing,” said San Marcos city council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who has been instrumental in mobilizing local opposition to the mandate. “I think it’s a great example of San Marcos citizens involved in something near and dear to their heart. Our critters are part of our family.”
Among those in the crowd was Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a syndicated national radio host from New Hampshire who presented the council with her research on microchips.
“I’ve been very impressed by the response of Mayor (Susan) Narvaiz,” Albrecht said outside City Hall Tuesday night. “She and I met this afternoon and she told me she was personally in favor of doing away with the mandate and making microchipping voluntary.”
Albrecht said microchipping has moved from being only a privacy issue to one in which health is a major factor. She said companies promoting microchips often neglect to share with consumers full details of the risks associated with implants.
A victory for the PEOPLE who turned off their TVs and got off their asses and fought for their rights.
It's nice to see that it still can be done. I just heard Katherine Albrecht on Coast and this is one of several victories against RFID chips.
And it's of particular interest to me as I'm getting another dog.
When I got Butch in 2002, I had him chipped. I didn't know about any health risks back then and thought it would be good if shelters or vets could ID him if I lost him somehow.
But considering the health risks, I'll skip the chip for the new puppy.