Microchip For Every Pet?
Legislature is considering a bill that would force the owners of
dogs and cats in that state to have a microchip inserted into their
pets and entered into a national database at the Department of Food
and Agriculture. We didn't make this up. The bill, intended to help
owners find their lost or kidnapped animals, would make it unlawful
for any person to own a dog or cat over the age of 4 months unless
it has had a microchip implanted.
of the bill, Sen. Jack O'Connell (D-Santa Barbara), says the cost
to pet owners would be between 12 and 30 dollars. O'Connell claims
the law ultimately would save money since fewer lost or abandoned
pets would need to be sheltered or destroyed.
for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were quick
to support the bill, despite obvious privacy and other concerns.
PETA feels a national database containing the names of pets and
their owners would be a good thing, and would help force careless
owners to take responsibility for allowing their animals to get
loose. PETA also happily points out that the system could be used
to force pet owners to adhere to guidelines regarding spaying and
neutering their animals. And, they say the national database would
allow pet owners to move to another state and continue to be tracked.
Yet why stop
there? Surely the California Legislature can find a way to use the
new technology to track pet assaults on fire hydrants back to the
guilty party's owners and fine them appropriately, perhaps by e-mail.
The opportunities are limitless.
We're glad there's
nothing more important for the California Legislature to be concerning
itself with -- like the full-scale energy crisis plaguing the state
that, as we recall, is partially a result of previous legislative
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