Digital ID chips have been implanted in 65,000 dogs in Shanghai to improve canine management and prevent the spread of rabies.
The step was taken after dog slaughters in provinces of Yunnan and Shandong, aimed at curbing rabies, drew massive criticism. The chips contain the dog's individual ID number.
To access information about the dog – photo, species, sex, colour, inoculation time, owner's address – you simply have to access the ID number. Chip developer Wang You said the biggest problem in managing dogs is identifying them.
“We began testing digital chip implants under the skin of the dog's left ear in 2001, and rolled the method out citywide in 2004,” Wang said. According to official statistics, Shanghai now has about 100,000 registered dogs and the digital ID system covers most of them.
Dogs are inoculated and given a digital chip during the registration process. The condition of the chip is checked every year. However, it would require more time and funding before the system can be implemented nationwide.
China has some 150 million pet dogs, according to statistics. It ranks second in the world after India in the number of reported cases of rabies, according to the Ministry of Health.