This procedure is now becoming more common and here are a few facts about how it is done and what it may mean to you and your pet. A tiny sterile microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted by the vet – like an injection – between the shoulders of the pet, at very little discomfort to the animal. When a compatible scanner is then passed over the pet emitting a radio frequency transmission, the microchip is activated and transmits an electronic message back producing a unique numerical code. This code is stored at a database, and provides full and accurate details of the animal and owner. Microchipping is a permanent form of identification. When a national register is operating, microchip identification will mean the prompt reunion of lost pets and their owners. This identification system will aid in animal management and local government registration procedures. Microchipping has been available from certain vets for some time in New Zealand , you may have your own pet microchipped, and be on a register that is working well in your region. The exportation of companion animals to some countries already requires that the pet be first implanted with a microchip. A national microchip system will mean that all animal agencies such as vet clinics, pounds and the SPCA have standardised scanners, and all lost animals will be routinely scanned when they are found. A nationally integrated database provider will then instantly and accurately provide the animals identification. Lost pets and owners will be promptly reunited, and any owner disputes will be settled. Extract from an article in the Paws for Thought magazine.