How Microchipping It Works?
A microchip system has two parts: a microchip and a scanner that reads it. ERN recommends the Pro-ID EquineChip™ which is a tiny computer chip encased in smooth, strong biocompatible glass. The EquineChip™ has an identification number programmed into it, and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. The chip is quickly and easily injected into the nuchal ligament (crest of the neck), where it is guaranteed for the life of the animal. This unique equine number cannot be altered or removed.
The microchip is an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) device and operates by receiving an invisible radio wave signal from a microchip reader. When the scanner is passed over the horse’s neck, the chip sends its number back to the scanner to be displayed in the viewing window. The animal feels nothing as his chip is being read. The interaction between the chip and scanner takes less than a second, allowing you to identify your horse quickly and on demand. After the microchip has been injected, it should be registered by filling out the card provided.
More Frequently Asked Questions on Microchipping
Are your microchips FEI Complaint? Yes, Our equine products are compliant with the FEI requirements – Read More About FEI and passport requirements.
Why should I microchip my horse? The tiny chip provides a lifetime permanent identification number for your horse. This number is unique in the world, cannot be altered, and eliminates doubt. Horse owners use it for many different reasons, such as: Proof of ownership, theft protection and recovery, disaster recovery, health certificates, medical records, farm management, event entries, travel, Registry ID, and sales documents.
Where is the chip implanted? Can it be removed? The chip goes into the nuchal ligament just below the mane about half way between the poll and withers on the left side. It cannot be removed without general anesthesia and surgery. Although many owners are capable of injecting their horses, and are fully comfortable implanting the microchips, we recommend you give the microchip syringe to your licensed veterinarian to inject into your horse.
Does the EquineChip™ have a protective coating on it? Yes. The Pro-ID EquineChip™ is sealed with a special coating called ParalyneC ®. This sealer is smooth, bio-compatible and encourages tissue growth around it.
Will it interfere with my horse’s performance? Not at all – From the track to the trail. Dressage to polo. Barrels to roping. From hunter jumpers to that backyard best friend. Performance is not affected in the least. Our customers and their veterinarians are the best testimony to this fact.
Tell me about the injection procedure? Microchipping is a simple injection. It only takes seconds. Most horses don’t even flinch as the chip is quickly injected into the nuchal ligament just below the mane. Once the chip is in place, it cannot be detected by hand. Only with a scanner. The horse feels nothing when he is being scanned.
At what age can my horse be microchipped with the Pro-ID EquineChip™ ? Any age, from birth on.
How long does the chip last? Does it wear out? The microchip has no power supply, battery, or moving parts and requires no care. The EquineChip™ can not be erased with a magnet or powerful electricity. The chip is guaranteed for the lifetime of your animal. Can the microchip move around or ‘migrate’ after it is injected? No. Once properly installed, the chip will not migrate or move. It will be there when you need it. (A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2003 223:1316-1319) revealed that microchips implanted in the nuchal ligament did not migrate.)
How can I register in the Equine Protection Registry? The Equine Protection Registry is available to anyone who has a microchipped horse, regardless of the type or brandname of chip. If your horse already has a microchip (from any company), you can still enroll online at your convenience. You MUST have the accurate chip number that is in your horse, before you can enroll online. When you enroll in the registry your number will be verified and you will receive a Wallet Card and a certificate from the Equine Protection Registry.
The chip is invisible. How can it benefit my horse? Microchips provide the most reliable form of instant permanent ID. Rather than being on the outside of the horse, where ID can be removed or altered, the chip is safe and secure in the nuchal ligament. If your horse also has a brand, the chip and the brand can work together for double protection.
The Pro-ID EquineChip™ is always there; able to be checked and verified immediately. When the chip number is recorded on documents, it immediately confirms… with the pass of a scanner…that the horse on the paperwork is the correct animal. Microchip numbers can be used as proof-positive when transporting, buying, selling, breeding, insuring, and protecting from disease.
Is the EquineChip™ universal? Can all scanners read it? Yes, the Pro-ID EquineChips™ are universal and flexible for use in the United States and elsewhere. We offer two types: a 10 digit chip, and a 15 digit chip. Both are universal chips. If your horse is going overseas, you should order the 15 digit ISO type. Some Registries also require the 15 digit ISO chip. The cost is the same.
If my horse is stolen or missing, how can the chip help me get him back? When a microchipped horse is stolen or missing, report it immediately to law enforcement and make sure they have the chip number. Then, contact the 24 hour HOTLINE (800.434.2843). The Equine Rescue Network will begin an immediate search for your horse through the social media. In addition, A number of Equine Protection network affiliates such as brand inspectors, law enforcement agencies, and Stolen Horse International will be contacted and ‘in the loop’ looking for your horse.
What about an emergency, a fire, a flood, storm, etc? ERN works with national disaster preparedness groups across America. These groups are equipped with scanners. In times of natural disaster or emergency, scanning for microchips is the ideal and preferred method of identifying equines and reuniting them with registered owners.
Owners of microchipped horses are contacted immediately when chips are traced through the Equine Protection Registry database. Non-chipped horses typically take much longer, or in many cases, never get returned to their owners.
As one of the longest standing microchip companies in the United States, The Equine Protection Registry has been available for nearly 20 years. The Equine Protection network makes your information available to recovery teams and law enforcement agencies who locate missing or stolen horses. If your horse scans ‘positive’ for a microchip, everyone knows who to call.
Does the microchip enable my horse to be located using GPS tracking equipment or satellite? No. The technology to incorporate GPS into a tiny injectable, passive (no power source) microchip is not currently available.