Thursday, March 5, 2009

News 8 Austin Coverage

Plan to require microchips in pets rejected - video taped interview at this link
3/4/2009 11:08 AM
By: Russell Wilde

A San Marcos ordinance that would have required all animal owners to have a microchip implanted in their pets was set to go into effect next month.

That was until a group of concerned citizens got involved. For weeks, council members have heard from people opposed to the plan, with many saying microchipping causes cancer.

After more than an hour of discussion the proposed mandatory microchipping was rejected.

The city's Animal Services manager, Bert Stratemann, said the rice-size implant would help reduce the number of animals put down at the city's shelter.

"It is ultimately the best way to get your pet back to you," he said.

Lisa Marie Coppoletta has been leading the fight against San Marcos' plan to mandate microchips in pets.

Many pet owners say having microchips on a pet should be a personal decision.

City council members listened to the concerns from people opposed to the plan for reasons that ranged from religious objections to fears that the policy could lead to microchips in humans.

"We're just appreciative that our policy makers are listening and they're listening to the voices of the citizens in our community," Coppoletta said.

The city council sent the animal ordinance back to the Animal Services Board. They'll revise the ordinance and present it to the city council again in the spring. The next go-around will not include mandatory microchipping in pets.

"We're going to be involved in how the documentation flushes out at the policy level," Coppoletta said.

"We're going to be going back to our advisory board with the recommendations from council to revisit the mandatory microchipping," Stratemann said.