Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some Against Microchipping Animals In San Marcos

Some Against Microchipping Animals In San Marcos - AWESOME VIDEO FOOTAGE HERE
CBS 42 Reporter: Ryan Loyd
Last Update: 3/03 11:14 pm
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Some against microchipping animals in San Marcos

Should pet owners be forced to put microchips in their dogs and cats?


"No chips, no chips!" That's what hundreds of people chanted outside of the San Marcos City Hall Tuesday night. They are against microchipping animals based on research that they say shows negative health risks associated with the technology.

"We're out here to protect our rights," shouted one protestor.

Last December, the San Marcos City Council passed an ordinance which had been in the works since 2005 that would make microchipping mandatory for all animals in San Marcos. The ordinance was set to go into effect April 1, 2009.

However, council members are hearing from those who want to make the ordinance voluntary.

"[We want] to simply make one change in that ordinance saying instead of mandatory microchipping, voluntary microchipping," said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a researcher who has been proactive against microchipping in cities across the country.

She says she has no problem if the owner of an animal chooses to microchip. But she is opposed to a blanket mandate.

"If, after looking at those risks, you decide you don't want to take the risk you shouldn't have the government telling you, you have to," said Dr. Albrecht.

According to Bert Stratemann, Animal Services Manager, the city is trying to return lost animals to their owners. He says the city is also promoting spay and neuter programs to control the pet population. Officials with the city of San Marcos say out of the 6,000 animals brought to the shelter last year, 4,000 were euthanized.

"Ultimately, that's what we were after. We're trying to reduce the euthanasia here at the shelter by getting more animals returned to their owners," said Stratemann.

Activists say they want to stop microchipping to prevent society from a Big Brother approach.

"People are very concerned about those chips appearing in driver’s licenses, in dogs, and ultimately even in us," Albrecht said.

For now, the San Marcos City Council will be looking into the microchipping issue further to decide what's best. They heard from people on both sides of the issue at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

"We may have won the battle," said one protestor. "But we haven't won the war," he said.

City Council sent the issue back to the Animal Shelter Board, Mayor Susan Narvaiz says she wants the wording changed to ‘Voluntary Microchipping.’

That means the April 1 start date to Mandatory Microchipping is no longer effective.

It could be June before the council hears the issue again.