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Why I disagree that micro-chipping should be made a compulsory condition of a dog license in Northern Ireland?

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Why the Northern Ireland Assembly Department of Agriculture and Rural Development should not include compulsory microchipping in new dog control legislation?

Why the Northern Ireland Assembly Department of Agriculture and Rural Development should not include compulsory microchipping in new dog control legislation?

Main reasons I disagree with making microchip implants compulsory:

  1. Health Issues with microchip implants

  2. Lack of Effectiveness as unique identifiers.

  3. Availability of personal data to unauthorized people.

  4. Infrastructure problems and budget overruns.

*Page being updated, so more information will appear daily for about the next two weeks. Sorry for the unfinished appearance in the meantime!*

Health Issues with microchip implants – Imposed legislation prefers business sponsored precaution over scientific evidence, Cancer Link, Migration and damage to dogs during play, Poor quality training for non-Veterinary Implanters, Possbile MRI incompatibility, low frequency RFID EMF problems

Imposed legislation prefers risk assessment over scientific evidence

 

 

The legislation mandates the injury of some animals by insisting on compulsory microchipping against two of the five freedoms outlined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease and freedom from fear and distress are major principles of animal welfare. The precautionary principle is a major principle for developing legislation in the European Union. Microchip implants never tested in case control, peer review, large population, breeds specific studies should automatically trigger the precautionary principle. One cornerstone of the precautionary principle that complete, independent scientific evaluation, by an independent authority, to decide scientific uncertainty ignored by the Dog Control Team.

The position stated by John Terrington principal of the dog control bill team in an e-mail sent on the 4 October 2010 was as follows:

“You imply that data put into the public domain by interested parties is inadmissible as a source of evidence on which to develop policy. However, an evidence-based approach to policymaking demands that the Department seeks the views of and evidence from the widest possible range of stakeholders, including those with commercial interests in the area under consideration.

“Where evidence conflicts, as it does in this case, then a judgement on the strength of the conflicting evidence must be made. That judgement in this case, summarised above, is subject to the scrutiny of the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, and the Assembly as a whole."

The data supplied to John Terrington’s team provided by the charity Dogs Trust was not their data. It was not British Veterinary Association (BVA) data as John and team falsely stated. I telephoned Helena Cotton of the British Veterinary Association who confirmed this and arranged a telephone interview with Chris Laurence Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust and Chair of the Microchip Advisory Group who supplied the data. So the data belonged to a sub-group of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). This sub-group called the Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) is an industry body comprised of manufacturers, distributors, databases, major buyers and major implanters of microchips.

Why didn’t John Terrington’s team know the origin of the data they used?

The Chair of the Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) Chris Laurence is also Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust charity. So a charity campaigning for legislation, embedding itself as a stakeholder in development has a director who chairs an industry group directly benefiting from the new legislation they campaigned for and developed in concert with John Terrington’s team. John defends his position to include their evidence against the precautionary principle by calling it a judgment call. This is everything that’s wrong with the Northern Ireland Assembly, unaccountable civil servants making irrational decisions against the public interest and answerable to no one. John did not declare a major stakeholder; provider of the only safety figures was chair of a group with a material interest. When I asked him directly at the Belfast meeting where the figures came from he didn’t know. This suggests he did not know this was the case so how could he make a judgment call on the validity of figures without sufficiently researching their origin? This is a conflict of interests and against the precautionary principle surely? If he did know that is even worse. In fact how much influence have Dogs Trust had on John’s Team and this legislation?

To explain the ineffectiveness of the self-report method used to uncover supposed safety evidence we need to dig into the detail. Something John Terrington and Michelle Gildernew, the current Minister responsible for the Northern Ireland Assembly Department of Agriculture and Rural Development both failed to do.

The Flaws in self-report adverse reaction data provided by Dogs Trust for the Microchip Advisory group are many. It is noteworthy the development team of the microchip implant self-report scheme contained at least one high-level veterinary surgeon, yet the design flaws inherent make it impossible to isolate vaccination or microchip implant as an undisputed cause of adverse reactions. Could this major flaw built into the microchip implant self-reporting scheme by the team have happened by accident? Then could it go unnoticed for seven years or more? Perhaps this flaw suited the group because they could report low adverse reaction figures? They often noted the under-reporting of adverse reaction figures but did little to amend the obvious flaws.

 

 

 

 

  1. Design flaws built into Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme developed by The Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) , The Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme under-reports consistently year on year , The largest flaw is the implantation site itself. The Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) recommends implanting in the scruff or Zone A , Another major flaw is that Veterinary Surgeons who implant a microchip are unlikely to admit a procedure recommended and carried out by them caused an adverse reaction , If the reaction is not at the site of the implant then how could we connect the microchip implant to the reaction , Adverse reactions need Fine Needle Aspiration biopsies or autopsies for detection , Many implanters are not Veterinary Surgeons. Some are ordinary people who attended a three-hour course and have no connection with the veterinary practice the animal attends , Many Veterinary surgeons do not know how to report reactions and therefore could not report them , Conclusion .
  2. The peer review scientific studies demonstrating links between microchip implants and cancer in the form of soft tissue sarcomas: Marta Vascellari’s work in dogs , General Microchip Studies in Dogs , Microchip associated tumours in Cats , Microchip associated tumours in Rats , Microchip associated tumours in Mice , Microchip associated tumour in a Bat , Microchip associated tumour in a Shrew , Microchip associated tumour in a Common Marmoset , Alpacas died after microchip inserted
  3. Peer review science on spinal cord injuries and implants: Spinal cord injuries in cats ,
  4. Professional Opinions on implant legality and safety , Jamie Foster of Clarke Willmott specialises in regulatory law, advising and representing clients involved in environmental prosecutions, health and safety prosecutions and animal welfare cases , Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York , Dr. George Demetri, director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston , Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist , Antech Diagnostics pathologist , Dr. E.G.A. Laarakker, Dr. C. Willekens, Dr. M. Kelfkens and Dr. F. Kokke .
  5. Anecdotal Evidence that shows cause for precaution : Caroline Davis’s series of articles , Noble Leon website , Case Studies regarding Microchip Implants - Seamus a bullmastiff owned by Howard Gillis , Scotty the Yorkshire Terrier owned by Linda Hawkins , Prinnie owned by Sarah Watson , Charlie Brown a long-haired Chihuahua, owned by Lori and Ed Ginsberg , Neo owned by Chris Griffin, Nottingham .
  6. Migration : Delayed spinal cord injury following microchip placement in a dog. Joslyn SK, Witte PG, Scott HW. University of Glasgow , MICROCHIP IMPLANT MANUAL from The Microchip Advisory Group , Microchip Migration: British Dalmatian Club Forum Index , Cavalier Chat - General cavalier chat & discussion - Anyone had a microchip migrate? , Surgical removal of a microchip from a puppy's spinal canal , Spinal cord injury resulting from incorrect microchip placement in a cat .

 

Design flaws built into Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme developed by The Microchip Advisory Group (MAG):

  1. The Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme under-reports consistently year on year, mentioned by both Fred Nind past chairperson of the Microchip Advisory Group and current chairperson Chris Laurence. Fred Nind first mentioned under-reporting as a problem in 2003. He noted,” 2003 saw a marked increase in the number of reports received through the Adverse Reaction Reporting Scheme. It is significant that several reports were received from some quite small practices while many larger practices filed no reports at all. This suggests that there is an element of under reporting which may be happening for a variety of reasons.” Chris Laurence went further in a conversation I had with him he said, “Undoubtedly, I think drug reactions or anything where you have a voluntary reporting system is inevitably going to be underreported, it would be stupid to deny that, because when you’re talking about practicing vets they, a proportion will be responsible enough to report reactions, equally there will be a proportion that won’t and we try very hard all the distributors try very hard to get people to report reactions. I have written as chairman a couple of articles, I have one going in next month saying, pointing out to people that they should be reporting reactions. I have written to veterinary record they have been clear that people should be reporting reactions, so there is a positive push to get people to report things, you are always going to get underreporting anyone who tells you are not going to get underreporting is talking through their backside basically.” So admitted under-reporting is ignored by those using these figures to justify safety and has been for at least seven years.
  2. The largest flaw is the implantation site itself. The Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) recommends implanting in the scruff or Zone A, veterinary surgeons inject vaccines and other treatments into the same area. The dismissal of adverse reaction reports made possible because no concrete determination of the cause of the reaction can occur. If vaccinated or medicated regularly at Zone A then vaccines, medicines or implants may be the cause of reactions. Isolation of the cause of the reaction is impossible because of multiple uses of this injection/ implantation site. Who designed the microchip implant self-report scheme this way? The BSAVA sub-group the Microchip Advisory Group. Why was it designed this way? This is less clear, perhaps they could issue a position statement to explain. It isn’t logical to design a system for capturing adverse reactions that is incapable of isolating them.
  3. Another major flaw is that Veterinary Surgeons who implant a microchip are unlikely to admit a procedure recommended and carried out by them caused an adverse reaction. The client may litigate or move surgeries. Adverse reactions can lead to soft tissue sarcomas which are fatal. Expensive treatment and tests needed for correct diagnosis coupled with potential client loss would limit reports. Not legally compelled to report adverse reactions only encouraged to do so by the BSAVA Veterinary Surgeons have no compelling reason to report. As a human being, a Veterinary Surgeon would consider the career fall out. The loss of professional prestige and the loss of clients associated with such a report when deciding to make it or not.
  4. If the reaction is not at the site of the implant then how could we connect the microchip implant to the reaction? Soft Tissue Sarcomas metastasise. This occurrence of metastasis may happen one in every four times depending on tumour type according to Elizabeth (Betsy) Hershey, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology). How do we count these reactions with the current Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme?
  5. Adverse reactions need Fine Needle Aspiration biopsies or autopsies for detection. Normal blood tests and x-rays will show nothing. How many owners would autopsy a dead dog to find out the cause of death? How many vets would suggest this knowing an implant may have caused the problem if they implanted themselves? How much would these specialist tests carried out by specialist laboratories cost? So this is a serious flaw.
  6. Many implanters are not Veterinary Surgeons. Some are ordinary people who attended a three-hour course and have no connection with the veterinary practice the animal attends. In fact ISO microchip implantation kits are freely available on the Internet so anyone can implant their own dog without even attending a course. So Veterinary Surgeons looking at a reaction may not notice the implanted microchip. Implants migrate often and may not be in the Zone A position. How can a Veterinary Surgeon consider a microchip they did not implant as causal in a metastasized soft tissue sarcoma? Clearly they can’t.
  7. Many Veterinary surgeons do not know how to report reactions and therefore could not report them. They do not know reactions occur. How can you report a reaction you don’t know exists? Not legally compelled to warn clients about possible microchip implant reactions the reactions themselves fly under veterinary surgeons radar. Dentists explain adverse reactions to post and crown implants carefully to patients and therefore consider the possibility of reactions but veterinary surgeons do not. Yet no reliable proof for safety or lack of safety exists. This inferred safety based on a reporting mechanism that cannot capture most adverse reactions because of design limits.

Conclusion:

At best, poorly designed, the Microchip Implant Self-report Scheme consistently under-reports data admitted in yearly reports by both veterinary surgeons who chaired the Microchip Advisory Group. At worst, well designed for its real purpose, providing flattering safety data on microchip implants regardless of the real risks. Only industry insiders and the Veterinary Surgeons in the sub-group know the truth.

Acknowledgment of the massive under-reporting potential of adverse reaction figures by the Microchip Advisory Group Chairperson Chris Laurence proves they know figures are rubbish. That his predecessor Fred Nind mentioned this in the 2003 report proves the problem existed from the start. A tactic used to spin these nonsense numbers into credible data is to say maybe under-reporting occurs but only by a factor of ten or factor of one hundred. This is nonsense because the degree of under-reporting in numerator data (adverse reaction reports) is unknown; even denominator data (how many dogs with microchips inside them) is sketchy at best. So any extrapolation of data is a guess, not remotely scientific in nature. Just a blind guess expressed in statistical language.

Joel Lexchin an associate professor, School of Health Policy and Management at York University, Toronto, describes this tendancy in medical data,“The problems associated with reports are well-known: poor quality of submitted reports; significant underreporting of adverse reactions; difficulty in calculating rates because of incomplete numerator data along with unreliable denominators; and limited ability to establish cause and effect.”

Discounting flawed risk analysis data provided by interested parties no statistically significant evidence exists proving safety and peer review science shows links to soft tissue sarcomas. The precautionary principle ignored to mandate a market for interested parties and boost uptake of microchips in Northern Ireland against animal welfare and the public interest.

Compelling owners to carry out actions like microchipping that cause adverse reactions breaches animal welfare principles. Inclusion of interested parties may be unintentional by John Terrington’s team, but it raises questions about the reliability of oversight in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Someone should have noticed the supply of the only safety data from an organization where the Veterinary Director also chaired an industry group with a material interest. The data itself biased because of the source and under-reported because of the methodology and therefore useless.

Microchip implantation has coincided with soft tissue sarcomas in several species. Strong denials by interested parties such as veterinary surgeons, animal charities and even the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Northern Ireland do not lessen the evidence. They highlight imbalance in assessment of microchip implantation weighted towards the business case ignoring health implications for animals and the unavoidable high Veterinary bills for some owners. Self-policed risk analysis trumps real science in the corridors of power at Stormont placing profit before democracy and fair play once again. A situation repeated often in Northern Ireland’s recent history.

 

The peer review scientific studies demonstrating links between microchip implants and cancer in the form of soft tissue sarcomas:

First it is important to mention that no case control, peer review, large population, breeds specific studies exist that prove microchip implants safe. So logically the reverse is also true, no studies exist that offer a statistically significant proof of the lack of safety either. Many studies into other areas have highlighted a need for precaution until such studies exist. It is these studies I am referring to.

In particular work carried out by Marta Vascellari proves a need for further examination and precaution about microchip implants and dogs. Many experts including Cheryl London have outlined their position that more study is needed before assuming microchip implants are safe or unsafe. This is often seized on by those who believe the microchips to be safe or unsafe. I don’t subscribe to the opinion that you can interpret non-existent data; we know microchips cause adverse reactions across a wide range of species. We have not done studies to find out why so we have no idea whatever how many animals would have adverse reactions. It is that simple.

My problem with microchip implants is that you cannot mandate the implantation of a technology that risks soft tissue sarcomas in percentage of animals. I understand and share some misgivings toward certain technological projects like soul catcher 2025. But that is a separate societal issue and beyond the scope of the current debate about microchip safety.

Many mundane legal questions should halt compulsory microchipping. Who is legally responsible when owners forced to implant their dogs find out an adverse reaction leading to cancer occurred? This issue remains legally obscure. Without the much-needed lifetime studies across the range of pedigree dog breeds the microchip should be strictly voluntary. No accurate predictor of safety exists at the moment. After all pedigree dogs, closely bred for type, may display varying resistance to cancer. That is why they currently use pedigree dogs in genetic studies of cancer.

Here are some of the studies that explain my position that a need for precaution exists, many will dismiss with weasel words problems which occurred in so many different species. The truth is we don’t have exact figures on microchip safety and we do have reason to doubt that safety and the intents of those selling it to us as fact:

Marta Vascellari’s work in dogs:

  1. Fibrosarcomas at presumed sites of injection in dogs: characteristics and comparison with non-vaccination site fibrosarcomas and feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Histopathology Department, Viale dell'Università 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy. Published by J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2003 Aug;50(6):286-91. Vascellari M, Melchiotti E,Bozza MA, Mutinelli F Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12887620
  2. Liposarcoma at the site of an implanted microchip in a dog a Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Histopathology Department, Viale dell Universit a 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy b Veterinary Surgeon, Via Tulipifero 11, 33080 Porcia (PN), Italy The Veterinary Journal 168 (2004) 188–190 Accepted 25 June 2003 Marta Vascellari a, Franco Mutinelli a,*, Romina Cossettini b, Emanuela Altinier b http://www.talk-big.com/liposarcoma.pdf
  3. Fibrosarcoma with Typical Features of Postinjection Sarcoma at Site of Microchip Implant in a Dog: Histologic and Immunohistochemical Study a Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Histopathology Department, Viale dell Universit a 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy b eterinary Surgeon, Via Tulipifero 11, 33080 Porcia (PN), Italy Veterinary Pathology Vet Pathol 43:545–548 (2006) M. VASCELLARI, E. MELCHIOTTI, AND F. MUTINELLI Available here: http://www.talk-big.com/vet%20pathol%2043_545-548%20(2006).pdf


General Microchip Studies in Dogs:

  1. Delayed spinal cord injury following microchip placement in a dog.Joslyn SK, Witte PG, Scott HW. University of Glasgow, Small Animal Hospital, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G61 1QH, UK. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2010;23(3):214-7. Epub 2010 Apr 26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20422127
  2. Surgical removal of a microchip from a puppy's spinal canal. Smith TJ, Fitzpatrick N. Fitzpatrick Referrals, Halfway Lane, Eashing, Surrey GU7 2QQ, UK. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2009;22(1):63-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151873?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=3
  3. Liposarcoma associated with a glass foreign body in a dog. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70803, USA. McCarthy PE, Hedlund CS, Veazy RS, Prescott-Mathews J, Cho DY. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996 Aug 1;209(3):612-4. AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8755980
  4. Evaluation of the susceptibility artifacts and tissue injury caused by implanted microchips in dogs on 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging. Saito M, Ono S, Kayanuma H, Honnami M, Muto M, Une Y. Department of Surgery II, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. January 2010. http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jvms/advpub/0/1001130119/_pdf

Microchip associated tumours in Cats:

  1. Fibrosarcoma adjacent to the site of microchip implantation in a cat. Daly MK, Saba CF, Crochik SS, Howerth EW, Kosarek CE, Cornell KK, Roberts RE, Northrup NC. Comparative Oncology Program, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA 30602, USA. J Feline Med Surg. 2008 Apr;10(2):202-5. Epub 2008 Mar 3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18313963


Microchip associated tumours in Rats:

  1. Neoplasia and Granulomas Surrounding Microchip Transponders in Damaraland Mole Rats (Cryptomys damarensis). Sura R, French RA, Goldman BD, Schwartz DR. Vet Pathol. 2010 Aug 19. PMID: 20724516 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724516
  2. Tumors in long-term rat studies associated with microchip animal identification devices Bayer Corporation, Toxicology Department, Stilwell, Kansas 66085, USA. Elcock LE, Stuart BP, Wahle BS, Hoss HE, Crabb K, Millard DM, Mueller RE, Hastings TF,;Lake SG Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2001 Feb;52(6):483-91 AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11256750

Microchip associated tumours in Mice:

  1. Subcutaneous microchip-associated tumours in B6C3F1 mice: a retrospective study to attempt to determine their histogenesis. Le Calvez S, Perron-Lepage MF, Burnett R. Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Unité d'Anatomie Pathologique, 44307 Nantes, France Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2006 Mar;57(4):255-65. Epub 2006 Jan 19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16427258
  2. In vivo reactions in mice and in vitro reactions in feline cells to implantable microchip transponders with different surface materials 1. M. Linder, DrMedVet,2. S. Hüther, DrMedVet1 and 3. M. Reinacher, DrMedVet, DECVP1 Veterinary Record 2009;165:45-50 doi:10.1136/vetrec.165.2.45 http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/165/2/45.abstract
  3. MICROCHIP-ASSOCIATED TUMOUR IN A C57/BL MOUSE GTP meeting 2000: Case No 15 http://www.eurotoxpath.org/meetings/index.php?id=2000/case15
  4. Transponder-Induced Sarcoma in the Heterozygous p53+/- Mouse Department of Toxicology and Safety Assessment, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877 Toxicol Pathol 1999; 27; 519 DOI: 10.1177/019262339902700505 Kerry T. Blanchard, Curt Barthel, John E. French, Henry E. Holden, Roger Moretz, Franklin D. Pack, Raymond W.Tennant and Raymond E. Stoll AVAILABLE HERE: http://tpx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/27/5/519
  5. Subcutaneous soft tissue tumours at the site of implanted microchips in mice. Institute of Experimental Pathology, Hannover Medical School, Germany. TILLMANN T, KAMINO K, DASENBROCK C, ERNST H, KOHLER M, MORAWIETZ G, CAMPO E, CARDESA A, TOMATIS L, MOHR U. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 1997 Aug;49(3-4):197-200 AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9314053

Microchip associated tumours in a Bat:

  1. Microchip-associated leiomyosarcoma in an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus). Siegal-Willott J, Heard D, Sliess N, Naydan D, Roberts J. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Siegal-Willott, Heard), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17679525


Microchip associated tumour in a Shrew:

  1. Microchip-Associated Sarcoma in a Shrew (Suncus murinus) Authors: Schutt, Leah K.1; Turner, Patricia V.1 Source: Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Volume 49, Number 5, September 2010 , pp. 638-641(4) Publisher: American Association for Laboratory Animal Science http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/aalas/jaalas/2010/00000049/00000005/art00013


Microchip associated tumour in a Common Marmoset:

  1. Calcinosis Circumscripta in a Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus jacchus) Authors: Wachtman, Lynn M.; Pistorio, Ashley L.; Eliades, Steven; Mankowski, Joseph L. Source: Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Volume 45, Number 3, May 2006 , pp. 54-57(4) http://aalas.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/aalas/jaalas/2006/00000045/00000003/art00010;jsessionid=1vs20teif5z0f.victoria

Alpacas died after microchip inserted:

  1. Microchip insertion in alpacas. van der Burgt G, Dowle M. The Veterinary Record. 2007; 160(6): 204. http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Camelids/alpacas06.shtml

 

The peer review scientific studies regarding microchip implants and Spinal cord injuries:

 

Cat Spinal cord injured by incorrect microchip placement

Spinal cord injury resulting from incorrect microchip placement in a cat Lara Wieczorek DVM, MRCVSa, Ruth Dennis MA, VetMB, DVR, Dipl ECVDI, MRCVSa and Alberta De Stefani DVM, MRCVSa Centre for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK Accepted 25 July 2006. Available online 18 September 2006. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WJC-4KXDWS1-1&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F2007&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=07fb0f163de902a0dc9746819465c84e

Professional Opinions on implant legality and safety:

  1. Jamie Foster of Clarke Willmott specialises in regulatory law, advising and representing clients involved in environmental prosecutions, health and safety prosecutions and animal welfare cases. http://www.clarkewillmott.com/en/sitecore/content/Global/Profiles/E-H/Jamie%20Foster.aspx . He stated in Dogs Monthly, “Microchipping can be successful on a voluntary basis as it seems to help in reuniting lost dogs with their owners. However, it is useless for other identification purposes, such as for ‘weapon’ dogs, since it will only affect the lawful. The whole concept of mandatory chipping is flawed and, if it comes into effect, will only create a raft of legislation. “It is also hard to see who owners would take issue with in the event of chips causing ill health to their pet, and they would probably end up having to take out a civil action against chip manufacturers. “The proposal to microchip dogs is, in reality, a tax on dogs rather than a proportionate response to attacks by dogs. This is a very similar idea to the ID card for people that has fallen out of favour. It would appear that the current thinking recommends surveillance as the answer to all problems in society. “In my view microchipping is a method of expending resources rather than a method of solving the problems of badly trained dogs.” Chip'n'Spin by Caroline Davis, Dog Monthly July 2010 Page 41 http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/Microchip%20article%20July10.pdf
  2. Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, "There's no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members," He added, "I mean, these are bad diseases. They are life-threatening. And given the preliminary animal data, it looks to me that there's definitely cause for concern." http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-09-08-rfidchips_N.htm
  3. Dr. George Demetri, director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, "Even though the tumor incidences were "reasonably small," there "certainly real risks" in RFID implants. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-09-08-rfidchips_N.htm
  4. Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich. "The transponders were the cause of the tumors"
  5. Re. Scotty the Yorkshire Terrier owned by Linda Hawkins from Tennessee in America develops epitheliotropic lymphoma. Antech Diagnostics pathologist, "this inflammation is associated with other foreign debris, possibly from the microchip. The coating [used to help stop chips from migrating] could be the material inciting the inflammatory response." Implanting Doubt, by Caroline Davis, Dog Monthly June 2010 Page 12 http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/DM_June10_pages10-15.pdf
  6. Re. Microchipping Horses: "All vets in our clinic share the opinion that chipping horses is anything but safe. There is too little evidence that chipping horses is safe, short-term or long-term. We argue in favor of thorough research to determine what consequences exist before chipping is applied extensively." Dr. E.G.A. Laarakker, Dr. C. Willekens, Dr. M. Kelfkens and Dr. F. Kokke http://www.invisio.nl/antichip/BriefLaarakkerenconfr.pdf In english, http://www.invisio.nl/antichip/tekstlaarakkereng.htm

 

Anecdotal Evidence that shows cause for precaution.

Like all anecdotal evidence, in fact all evidence, critical examination is necessary before deciding the degrees of reliability. This is true of The Microchip Advisory Group’s self-report data gathering. This is true of evidence I present, and this is true of evidence presented by animal welfare charities and the media and the Government with their respective interests an alliances.

I recommend reading Caroline Davis’s series of articles on microchipping published in Dog Magazine Monthly. As a professional journalist and editor Caroline pulls a lot diverse research together and managed to get information from many people who probably wouldn’t easily work together. Her series of well researched articles well worth reading. Please consider buying the magazine because nothing guarantees a drop in big player advertising revenue like irritating the companies that sponsor the entire pet industry namely Bayer, Intervet and Hills. Two of the three make microchips so Caroline took a risk publishing these articles. A risk most mainstream newspaper editors wouldn’t dare take.

You can find them here:

1. What you may not know about...Microchipping http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/DM_Sept09_page_10-15.pdf
2. Chip'n'Spin Special feature http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/Microchip%20article%20July10.pdf
3. Implanting Doubt http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/DM_June10_pages10-15.pdf

I recommend the Noble Leon website, the owner goes to the trouble of publishing x-rays and veterinary studies when available for anecdotal evidence. I don’t go into that detail here because there is no point in repeating information, but I recommend visiting the web site. http://www.noble-leon.com/ . The website dedicated to Leon, a 9-year-old, male French bulldog which developed fibrosarcoma at the site of an implant. Marta Vascellari researched the case in Fibrosarcoma with Typical Features of Postinjection Sarcoma at Site of Microchip Implant in a Dog: Histologic and Immunohistochemical Study Available here: http://www.talk-big.com/vet%20pathol%2043_545-548%20(2006).pdf .

Case Studies regarding Microchip Implants:

  1. Seamus a bullmastiff owned by Howard Gillis developed a 1.95 kilogram tumour at the site of two microchip implants and died. http://www.noble-leon.com/resourcesAdvanced/microchips.html .
  2. Scotty the Yorkshire Terrier owned by Linda Hawkins from Tennessee in America develops epitheliotropic lymphoma at site of microchip implant. McGee ED. Antec Diagnostics, Southhaven, MS 38671. December 2009. Biopsy Report included on the noble leon website. http://www.noble-leon.com , http://www.noble-leon.com/documents/Microchip-LindaHawkins-Scotty-Dog-Microchip-Cancer-BiopsyReport-December2009.pdf
  3. Prinnie owned by Sarah Watson from Lincolnshire was hospitalized for nine and a half weeks had a 20cm hole in her neck leaving Sarah with a £5,500 bill. Mentioned in Caroline Davis's article Implanting Doubt published June 2010. Available at Dog Magazine Monthly www.dogsmonthly.co.uk . If made to microchip under compulsory legislation would the Government (either DARDNI or the Local Council), the attending veterinary surgeon or Sarah be liable for the costs incurred for treatment? Under we answer that question microchipping should not be made compulsory.
  4. Charlie Brown a long-haired Chihuahua, owned by Lori and Ed Ginsberg from California, compulsorily chipped, died after the procedure. Dr Reid Loken, confirmed the dog died of blood loss associated with the microchip. He cited “an extreme amount of bleeding” from the “little hole in the skin where the [microchip implant] needle went in” as the cause of death. http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/Microchip%20article%20July10.pdf
  5. Neo owned by Chris Griffin, Nottingham died after having microchip implant inserted into his brain stem by RSPCA Hyson Green branch in Nottingham. http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/downloads/Microchip%20article%20July10.pdf

 

Microchip Migration:

 

 

Microchip implants migrate often. This removes the main benefit, quick identification in the veterinary surgery or animal shelter. The theoretical capacity to see more dogs an hour means veterinary surgeons and animal shelter workers love microchip implants, more dogs in less time means more money or more effective use of volunteer’s time. But a collar and tag is much quicker if a microchip migrated down the leg or back.

Migration of implants causes discomfort for animals. A commonly listed problem on dog forums, addressing migration should be top of the list for manufacturers and major implanters. Instead of highlighting this obvious problem animal welfare groups and company sponsored veterinary surgeons ignore it. Asking Government to mandate a market for sponsors instead of demanding sponsors fix this problem with their product. Yet leaving an animal with a glass shard in its leg would be grounds for cruelty if owners did it because it causes unnecessary suffering. It is fine to implant an unnecessary device that migrates to the same spot, is the same size and causes the same pain. The flawed logic is obvious here.

  1. Delayed spinal cord injury following microchip placement in a dog. Joslyn SK, Witte PG, Scott HW. University of Glasgow, Small Animal Hospital, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G61 1QH, UK, Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2010;23(3):214-7. Epub 2010 Apr 26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20422127
  2. MICROCHIP IMPLANT MANUAL Cats / Dogs Spring 2006: "Microchips that have been incorrectly implanted in the scruff are likely to migrate around the neck and onto the front of the shoulders or chest. Chips wrongly implanted over the side of either shoulder (instead of in-between) are likely to migrate down either respective leg, so it is important that these areas are thoroughly checked." Page 4 http://www.bsava.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=PzCDP1Ffcpw%3d&tabid=154&mid=302
  3. Microchip Migration: British Dalmatian Club Forum Index - General Chat http://www.britishdalmatianclub.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8633&sid=616bedbbf871626393fcbc8d52464d2a
  4. Zero's microchip has moved to his back leg - Dogz Online Forums - Discussion Forums - General Dog Discussion http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?showtopic=140293&st=15
  5. Cavalier Chat - General cavalier chat & discussion - Anyone had a microchip migrate? http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?16857-Anyone-had-a-microchip-migrate&s=7946523f3d437af80be42b69161d86e2
  6. Surgical removal of a microchip from a puppy's spinal canal.Smith TJ, Fitzpatrick N.Fitzpatrick Referrals, Halfway Lane, Eashing, Surrey GU7 2QQ, UK. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2009;22(1):63-5. Tibetan Terrier was admitted with a 12-hours history of acute onset of progressive tetraparesis following insertion of a microchip to the dorsal cervical region. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151873
  7. Spinal cord injury resulting from incorrect microchip placement in a cat. Platt S, Wieczorek L, Dennis R, De Stefani A. Centre for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK. J Feline Med Surg. 2007 Apr;9(2):157-60. Epub 2006 Sep 18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16982206

Damage to microchip implants in dogs during play leading to adverse reactions

"Microchipping, particularly dogs and cats, is a simple straightforward subcutaneous injection. However evidence amassed over the last 10 years proves conclusively that implant site and technique are crucial to the stability of the chip on site and the prevention of adverse reactions." Page 5 MICROCHIP IMPLANT MANUAL Cats / Dogs Spring 2006

"Explain to the owner that the implant site will be sensitive for a while and they must not try to feel for the microchip as this could cause it to move from the implant site and prevent the chip adhering to the surrounding tissue." Page 7 MICROCHIP IMPLANT MANUAL Cats / Dogs Spring 2006

Source: http://www.bsava.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=PzCDP1Ffcpw%3d&tabid=154&mid=3021

In 2007 some 4,799 dogs were refused entry to the UK due to EU passport or chip discrepancies (this figure was obtained from Defra by the interviewee under the Freedom of Information Act). Of these, 50 chips could not be read or found, while 1,300 were classed as ‘any other’ which also includes chips that can be read but don’t match the dog’s other details. My interviewee said: “I believe every implanter should hand out a leaflet stating, or at least warn owners, that the chip may fail or exit the body.” Source: http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/DogsMonthlyForum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=508 .

A lot of damaged microchip implants out there.

Having read the implanting manual from the microchip advisory group it seems clear they inferred a correlation between adverse reactions and implant site and technique. Most dogs play by rolling on their backs and all the dogs I owned do this.

How do we stop a dog rolling on this tender spot after implantation?

We can’t watch dogs 24/7.

A dislodged implant and therefore an adverse reaction can appear because of a normal dog behaviour regularly displayed by most dogs.

Do implanters warn owners to watch out for this?

If not, why not?

 

Poor quality training for non-Veterinary Implanters

 

 

The training needed to be a microchip implanter is inadequate. It consists of a three-hour course. Anyone who grooms dogs will tell you that letting a beginner loose near a nervous dog with a pair of scissors is dangerous to the dog and the person concerned. How much more dangerous is it to let the same person loose with a 12 gauge needle which is huge? How many nervous or aggressive dogs will bite volunteers before the Government outlaws three-hour courses to protect volunteers and dogs from damage?

Currently, if you have the money you can set up as an implanter after a three-hour training course. Many charities allow people to start implanting microchips right away. Dogs Trust ran a media campaign promoting compulsory microchipping while their Veterinary Director chaired the industry body that represents the various strands of the microchip industry. Sir Chris Laurence attended the AutoID’s ISO/TC23/SC19/Working Group 3: Identification in Paris 2001 before chairing the Microchip Advisory Group or becoming Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust. He attended the conference held by the patent holder of RFID technology, then joined Dogs Trust and then chaired MAG.

Perhaps the timing of events outlined previously explains the reasoning behind why compulsory microchip implants are so important to Dogs Trust. No statistically significant lifetime studies into safety exist. But they push for compulsory uptake, is that because their Veterinary Director chairs the Microchip Advisory Group?

It is not a clear-cut case to accept risk analysis over scientific evidence proving a need for precaution; industry risk analysis should never appear alone as a sole indicator of safety. It isn’t used for that purpose in human medicine. Yet John Terrington’s team accepted it. I would like to know why a John and Chris are both accepting this data as fact? Is there a hidden motive behind this acceptance?

 


Sources:

  1. AutoID’s ISO/TC23/SC19/Working Group 3: Identification in Paris 2001 - http://talk-big.com/ISO_TC23_SC19_WORKING_GROUP_3_IDENTIFICATION.gif -The original removed from Auto-Id's website.
  2. Chris Laurence MBE, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust- http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/mediacentre/staffandspokespeople/default.aspx - http://www.dogmagazine.net/archives/997/just-not-good-enough-dogs-trust-vet-director-savages-kennel-club/
  3. Chris Laurence MBE, current chairman of MAG Microchip Advisory Group - http://www.bsava.com/Advice/MicrochipAdvice/tabid/154/Default.aspx
  4. Risk analysis: a quantitative guide By David Vose Page 434: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9CaoAqaRcVwC&pg=PA434&lpg=PA434&dq=risk+analysis+data+not+proof&source=bl&ots=tNh1eIqqX0&sig=43SWa3TtNdjXwh16O-Zeu4hlBAw&hl=en&ei=OMlGTcuICcyChQfkzMm6AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
  5. BSAVA MICROCHIP IMPLANT MANUAL Cats / Dogs Spring 2006 Page 6: http://www.bsava.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=PzCDP1Ffcpw%3d&tabid=154&mid=3021
  6. PET ID Equine: Microchip implant manual Spring 2010 Pages 4,5:
    http://www.pet-works.net/images/documents/petID_trainingmanual.pdf

Possbile MRI incompatibility

The main risk being signal void artefacts interfering with MRI scans although translational force and torque occurred at higher levels than normal gravity this caused no problems. This movement could, in theory, cause problems leading to adverse reactions but it didn’t in the studies I found. Heating wasn’t a problem in these studies either. So the major problem remains inaccurate images in the implant area according to current studies. Probably not the worst potential health problem caused by microchips, but worth noting.

Sources:

  1. Brain tumors in cats: Is MRI useful? Sep 1, 2004 By: Pierre Bichsel, DVM, Dipl. ECVN, Dipl. ACVIM (neurology), Ronald Lyman, DVM, Dipl. DVM NEWSMAGAZINE http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/Veterinary+news/Brain-tumors-in-cats-Is-MRI-useful/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/122099
  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Pets in Veterinary Medicine Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith Diagnostic Tests http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=0+1302+1473&aid=1003
  3. Evaluation of the susceptibility artifacts and tissue injury caused by implanted microchips in dogs on 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging. Saito M, Ono S, Kayanuma H, Honnami M, Muto M, Une Y. Department of Surgery II, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Kanagawa, Japan. J Vet Med Sci. 2010 May;72(5):575-81. Epub 2010 Jan 20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086326
  4. EVALUATION OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE SAFETY OF VETERINARY RADIOFREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION DEVICES AT 1 T 1. MARTIN A. BAKER1, 2. IAIN MACDONALD2 Article first published online: 11 NOV 2010 DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2010.01762.x © 2010 Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1740-8261.2010.01762.x/full

 

Low frequency RFID EMF problems

 

Before delving into why I consider low frequency RFID to be problematic it is worth reading a general primer on RFID. I have provided a short primer below underlining strengths and weaknesses of various RFID frequencies. For example, you couldn’t read a low frequency RFID chip from space because the chip interferes with the signal of the reader to broadcast data. Since chips are low power they couldn’t deliver data over long distances. No matter how high power the RFID reader might be. GPS implants would need an external aerial to send to satellites because they don’t broadcast well through water. It is difficult to understand the limits on the technology without a basic idea of how the frequencies behave. There are plenty of logical reasons to resist RFID implants without resorting to stupid claims of capacities that are beyond the abilities of the technology involved.

RFID Background:

  1. RFID Background
  2. Different tag frequencies and their characteristics
  3. The LF low frequency range tags
  4. The HF High frequency range tags
  5. The UHF Ultra-high Frequency range tags
  6. The Microwave Frequency range tags
  7. General Sources
  8. The problem with LF low frequency range tags in an animal welfare setting

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification.

RFID tags use a small microchip coupled with an antenna. The tag stores information called an Electronic Product Code (EPC). When stimulated by radio waves of the correct frequency the tag provides information to an RFID reader. The Electronic Product Code (EPC) links to a matching record in an SQL database enabling many automated tasks.

The tags use different frequencies depending on the needs of the project. Regulatory authorities like the US Federal Communications Commission and the UK Office of Communications limit RFID Frequencies to certain ranges so they do not interfere with other services that use radio waves such as television and radio. The main usable RFID frequency ranges fall into four categories at the moment. The LF low frequency range between 30–300 kHz. The HF High frequency range
between 3–30MHz. The Ultra-High Frequency range between 300 MHz -3 GHz. The Microwave frequency range between 2–30 GHz.

Different tag frequencies and their characteristics:

The LF low frequency range tags:

The LF low frequency range tags use a few main frequencies: 134.2 kHz, 128 kHz and 125 kHz. America mainly uses 125 kHz and 128 kHz. The ISO standard chips use the 134.2 kHz frequency in Europe. Low frequency tags are small and inexpensive to make because of a lack of a power source. They activate only when stimulated by an RFID reader and are electronically inert the rest of the time. The main applications are security badges, anticounterfeiting and animal identification. The main advantage of a low frequency tag is readability through water and metals. The main disadvantage of a low frequency tag is the short read range. They are also slower to read compared with higher frequency tags. With regard to implantation several scientific studies show possible health concerns about implantation of RFID tags because STS soft tissue sarcomas occurred in implanted animals in the past.

The HF High frequency range tags:

The HF High frequency range tags use one main frequency 13.56 MHz. These tags are usually passive tags with a power source. They activate only when stimulated by an RFID reader and are electronically inert the rest of the time. The main applications are security badges, cards and key fobs, healthcare wristbands and loyalty cards. The two main advantages the higher frequency chips offer are a better read range and faster data transfer than lower frequency tags. The main disadvantage is HF RFID does not penetrate liquids or metal as well as LF RFID.

The UHF Ultra-high Frequency range tags:

The UHF Ultra-high Frequency range tags use many different frequency ranges worldwide. In North America and Canada the UHF frequency range is 902-928 MHz. In Europe the UHF frequency range is 865.6-867.6 MHz. China has two UHF frequency ranges, 840.5-844.5 MHz and 920.5-924.5 MHz. Most other countries have their own frequency ranges. The main applications are pallet tagging, baggage handling, pharmaceutical tagging and stock control in libraries and bookshops. Ultra-high Frequency (UHF) RFID tags have a longer read range and faster data transfer rate than lower frequency tags. Their major disadvantage is that they don’t work well when surrounded by a high metal or water content.

The Microwave Frequency range tags:

The Microwave Frequency range tags use two main frequencies 2.45 GHz or 5.8 GHz. The main applications are baggage handling, asset tracking and access control for buildings and toll roads. The high price and poor penetration limits use of this frequency range in other areas.

General Sources:

  1. RFID: Frequency, standards, adoption and innovation by Matt Ward Department of Design Goldsmiths College, University of London -
    http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/techwatch/tsw0602.pdf
  2. Radio Frequencies - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification
  3. http://www.rfid-handbook.de/rfid/frequencies.html
    International RFID Frequencies - http://www.skyrfid.com/RFID_Frequencies.php
  4. JISC Technology and Standards Watch, May 2006 - http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.102.3390&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  5. RFID essentials By Bill Glover, Himanshu Bhatt - http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=K2- gdK21RVEC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=rfid%2B30%E2%80%93300+kHz&source=bl&ots=EhI_eikv4e&sig=DUWjVaXJ0Fd8htp545kxVpWugDQ&hl=en&ei=NobaTMrOMt-ShAfHq7n_Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=rfid%2B30%E2%80%93300%20kHz&f=false
  6. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - http://search2.fcc.gov/search/index.htm?job=search&site=fcc_all&q=rfid&Submit+search+request.x=0&Submit+search+request.y=0&Submit+search+request=Submit
  7. Ofcom - http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-management/licence-exempt-radio-use/wireless-telegraphy-regulations/
  8. RFID Journal - http://www.rfidjournal.com/faq
  9. IDTechEx survey of the global RFID industry -
    http://www.idtechex.com/research/articles/rfid_in_2010_the_new_dawn_00002437.asp
  10. Regulatory status for using RFID in the UHF spectrum. 18 March 2009 -
    http://www.epcglobalinc.org/tech/freq_reg/RFID_at_UHF_Regulations_20090318.pdf

 

The problem with LF low frequency range tags in an animal welfare setting:

Because of the short read range, 45 centimetres at best, with current technology. EMF exposure problems appear limited in the low frequency range. However people working with dogs near to readers for long peroids of time may still be at risk. When using a reader to read a dog microchip implant you are also pointing the reader at the helper so in animal welfare and other environments, exposure for volunteers is the key risk. With no major studies published in this area I have given links to the research I could find. I am not saying this is a massive concern, it is an unknown and even small amounts of EMF cause problems during pregnancy according to some studies. So worth being aware of the issues.

  1. Project no. SSPE-CT-2004-502173 Project title EMF-NET: EFFECTS OF THE EXPOSURE TO ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS: FROM SCIENCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFER WORKPLACE Instrument: Co-ordination action Thematic Priority: Priority 8, POLICY ORIENTED RESEARCH – AREA 2.3, Call Identifier FP6-2002-SSP-1 Deliverable D7: Report of evaluation of relevant results from projects on the
    effects of IF exposure http://web.jrc.ec.europa.eu/emf-net/doc/reports/D7_evaluation_relevant_results_from_projects_effects_IF.pdf
  2. THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND EMF Dr Leeka I Kheifets World Health Organization Tel: +41 22 791 49 76, Fax: +41 22 791 41 23 http://www.who.int/peh-emf/meetings/southkorea/en/Leeka_Kheifets_principle_.pdf
  3. Electromagnetic fields 'raise suicide risk' Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 02:52 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/677256.stm
  4. Electromagnetic fields 'raise cancer risk' Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 12:31 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1717281.stm
  5. Warning over miscarriage research Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 19:07 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1751315.stm
  6. Analyst Viewpoint: Take Appropriate RFID Precautions Wednesday March 28th, 2007 By Bob Parker, Manufacturing Insights http://www.rfidupdate.com/articles/index.php?id=1327

Lack of Effectiveness as unique identifiers

RFID Implants work well in the current voluntary database because the people using the implants want the unique identifier connected with their details. RFID is vulnerable to cloning, number invention and therefore tag number duplication and therefore does not work well as a unique identifier when made compulsory.

To understand the dangers of treating RFID Implants as unique needs some knowledge of the equipment and some knowledge of tag number composition as used in ISO microchips. Tag number composition and the problems caused by the transparency of the numbering become obvious when viewed as an enforcement measure and not an opt-in scheme. In addition cloning RFID microchip implants is simple. A summary of the issues

  1. The largest problem the majority (estimated at two thirds) of dog owners who already ignore the licensing schemes run by local councils.
  2. Fifty-Five companies use the three digit, 900 shared manufacturer code numbers on their tags. Having bought a few tags from different suppliers it struck me that production runs of tags could accidentally repeat numbers. An issue apart from licensing fraud and criminal fraud. Accidental number duplication is an issue.
  3. Transparency of Microchip Implant Tag Number Structure
  4. Cloning RFID Animal Implants - A practical demonstration

The largest problem the majority (estimated at two thirds) of dog owners who already ignore the licensing schemes run by local councils.

The problem, two thirds of dog owners not registering on the local council database for licensing dogs. I want the Government to understand that two thirds of dog owning citizens according to your own figures think your scheme is rubbish.

The solution, change the unique identifier from discs legible from 45 cms away to microchip implants that are invisible and readable from 45 cms away.

So somehow changing the UID unique ID will change behaviour, how exactly will that work?

Well seemingly breeders will tag dogs at birth so logically they will keep records on dog owners. Complete fantasy, I bought loads of dogs in my life and have never supplied my home address. It’s simple, the breeder wants money, I give them money, I take the dog.

Well make Dog owner-registration compulsory at birth?

Imagine Paramilitary Pete buying a dog, fake driving licence identical with a real one. Armed friends a phone call away, scary enough to give anyone amnesia.

How the hell would this law work in Northern Ireland?

Like Pit Bull breeding this will drive breeding of certain dogs underground. Because of the sheer stupidly of the law everyone in the dog world will turn a blind eye and you will se fewer dogs registered, not more. In addition, those dogs bred for macho-type owners no longer bred in a traceable way become purposed toward aggression meaning more dog bites. Congratulations unintended consequences are a bitch and will I hope bite the Government in the ass. I just hope they don’t blame Councils most of which didn’t want this legislation.

Compulsory legislation guaranteed to irritate dog owners and set them against the Government, the Charities that campaigned for it and the council who enforce it. Good luck with that NI Assembly and Dogs Trust. I wish you the success you deserve for introducing a short-sighted tax on dog owners for your big-money, big-business mates.

The information provided is for educational purposes only; we do not advise or condone using any information to register false or multiple microchip numbers in the new Government database.

Fifty-Five companies use the three digit, 900 shared manufacturer code numbers on their tags

Fifty-five companies use the three digit, 900 shared manufacturer code numbers on their tags. Having bought a few tags from different suppliers it struck me that production runs of tags could accidentally repeat numbers. An issue apart from licensing fraud and criminal fraud. Accidental number duplication is an issue. The 15 digit number starts with 900 a shared manufacturer code standing in place of country codes. The same three digit number used by the following manufacturers:

  1. A1 ID SYSTEMS Ltd. 900 (Shared code)
  2. Advanced ID Asia Engineering CO. Ltd 900 shared code)
  3. Animal Care Group Plc 900 (shared code)
  4. Araymondlife 900 (shared code)
  5. Asian Information Technology Co., Ltd. 900 (shared code)
  6. Bartronics India Ltd 900 (shared code)
  7. Beijing Hi-Dragon Technology Co, Ltd 900 (shared code)
  8. Beijing Protection Science & Technology Co., Ltd 900 (shared code)
  9. Central Information Technology Co. Ltd 900 (shared code)
  10. Chiphandel 900 (shared code)
  11. Cox Agri 900 (shared code)
  12. Dalton I.D. Systems 900 (shared code)
  13. Datamars 900 (shared code)
  14. Demaplast S.R.L. 900 (shared code)
  15. Doowa Technology Co. Ltd. 900 (shared code)
  16. Drover's Ay-One Pty Ltd 900 (shared code)
  17. DT Japan Inc. 900 (shared code)
  18. Duo Tags Pty Ltd. 900 (shared code)
  19. Elda ICT & Services BV 900 (shared code)
  20. ENSID Technologies Limited 900 (shared code)
  21. Geissler Technologies Corporation 900 (shared code)
  22. Gepe-Geimuplast GmbH 900 (shared code)
  23. HanMac ENG. Inc 900 (shared code)
  24. Hasco International Inc. 900 (shared code)
  25. ID-Ology 900 (shared code)
  26. Insituto Rosenbusch S.A. 900 (shared code)
  27. Insprovet S.L. 900
  28. Intracos GmbH 900 (shared code)
  29. Maun Industries Limited 900 (shared code)
  30. Merko B.V. 900 (Shared code)
  31. METAGAM BVBA 900 (shared code)
  32. NOHAU Industrie Elektronik Produktionssysteme GmbH 900 (shared code)
  33. Omnitek Tecnologia Ltda 900 (shared code)
  34. Ornthana Intertrade 900 (shared code)
  35. Osés Rfid S.L. 900 (shared code)
  36. OX-MOBILE Industria e Comércio, Material Eletrônico Ltda 900 (Shared code)
  37. Prionics Italia S.r.l. 900 (shared code)
  38. PTS Technologies Pte. Ltd 900 (shared code)
  39. QUELIS ID Systems inc. 900 (shared code)
  40. Royal Tag 900 (Shared code)
  41. Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics 900 (shared code)
  42. Schippers Europe BV 900 (shared code)
  43. Smartchip Microelectronics Corp. 900 (shared code)
  44. Soartech Electronics Inc. 900 (shared code)
  45. Stockbrands Co Pty Ltd 900 (shared code)
  46. Tanfesur S.A. 900 (shared code)
  47. Temple Tags Ltd 900 (shared code)
  48. Tierchip Dasmann 900 (shared code)
  49. Tierkennzeichnung Splitthoff GmbH 900 (shared code)
  50. Tvasta ID India Private Ltd. 900 (shared code)
  51. Uno Roestvaststaal BV 900 (shared code)
  52. Vinci Technology Co. Ltd. 900 (shared code)
  53. Watron Technology Corp. 900 (shared code)
  54. WUXI FOFIA Technology Co., Ltd 900 (shared code)
  55. Zhejiang Lamda System Engineering Co., Ltd. 900 (shared code)

How does this provide any degree of accountability or isolation of production locations for oversight?

 

Microchip Implant Tag Number Structure

 

 

Tags contain 15 digit numbers that work as unique identifiers (UID) in a database. The dogs connected through the RFID implant to databases with that fifteen digit number.

Here is a diagram of a Glass RFID Implant tag number, I own the tag, and it is not registered in any database, or implanted in any pet. The information provided for educational purposes only. Please do not use it to break the law. This is a condition of viewing the information.

In the example microchip implant, the number starts with the three digit 900 code a manufacturer code shared between 55 companies that I know of. For instance I bought tags from Germany with the 3 digit 900 shared number. So the number doesn’t even narrow down country. So logic dictates that 900 should make up the first three digits of any imaginary (fake) number because of the lack of traceability innate in that number because of 55 companies using it.

RFID computer software uses Hexadecimal to write microchip implants. To write a number to a microchip implant requires transferring the number from decimal to hexadecimal format. If simply making a number up to submit to a database this is unnecessary. But to help point out security flaws I will quote both hexadecimal and decimal values throughout.

So the first part of the number would be 900 or 384 in Hexadecimal format to write to an implant. So far we have 900.

The second part of a number would be a 0; I would guess the 0 means animal but can’t be sure. It is on all the tags I own so is a stable ingredient of tags from different sources used for animal identification. Zero is still zero in the Hexadecimal format. Now we have 900 0.

Next we have a number up to 11 digits in length and logically between 00000000001 and 99999999999. If I were doing it I would create the number randomly with a random number generator like www.randomizer.org/form.htm. .

That 55 manufacturers use the 900 shared numbers lessens odds the number I produce exists in databases in the UK. With true randomization there is no way to connect the created number to an individual or geographical area through pattern analysis or data mining. The ISO is a European standard so detection of fake numbers becomes less likely because of spread of repeats over a wide area. So it is possible to make a number up. Now we have 900 0 886039582, a correctly formed, randomized valid microchip number.

How can anyone prove the physical chip for this virtual number doesn’t exist?

You would think a simple way would be to scan the dog. Not so, microchip failure is an accepted fact. Microchip implants can and do fail. Defra admitted in a freedom of information request that, “in 2007 4,799 dogs were refused entry to the UK due to EU passport or chip discrepancies (this figure was obtained from Defra by the interviewee under the Freedom of Information Act). Of these, 50 chips could not be read or found, while 1,300 were classed as ‘any other’ which also includes chips that can be read but don’t match the dog’s other details.” Source: http://www.dogsmonthly.co.uk/DogsMonthlyForum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=508

So if asked owners could simply say the microchip must have exited the body after implantation, a reasonable excuse and an unquestionable legal defence because they sometimes do.

The transparency of implant number composition makes guessing usable numbers to send to a Government database a real concern. That dog microchip implant number may be the same as one already in the database or one held in a database of a country participating in the Pet Passport Scheme. Making microchip implants compulsory invalidates their usage for this purpose.

Cloning RFID Animal Implants - A practical demonstration

 

I included details of everything needed to clone a microchip implant with a basic explanation of how the equipment works.

The equipment needed:

  1. A Laptop or PDA
  2. Reader Writer Software and a 134 kHz reader–writer or the SDID package or equivalent from CORE RFID Source: iPAQ 114 & SDiD LF RFID Kit £449.00 Price Excludes VAT Source: http://www.rfidshop.com/ipaq-114--sdid-lf-rfid-kit-2582-p.asp
  3. A tag to read.
  4. A 134 kHz rewritable RFID Tag or Implant. For example, Hitag S 2048 2 x 12mm Glass RFID Tag Source: http://www.sleepallday.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=180&zenid=15004eb49935d4705fd714a964ac6304

A screen recording of the software while cloning a 134 kHz RFID implant number on to a rewritable tag

Cloning an RFID implant is a matter of pushing a few buttons, it needs no special skill. That a Minister for Agriculture doesn’t know cloning is possible is mind-blowing.

Several in the farming community would have a kit like this for their animals.

Cloning RFID is not only possible it is simple using readily available equipment. So far no motivation existed for exploiting RFID’s inherent security flaws. Now DARDNI passed legislation that provides a possible revenue stream from cloning microchip implants.

Some expert evidence:

“Open problems pertaining to RFID anti-cloning and some observations”, Benjamin Arazi, Dept. of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, March 24, 2007.

"RFID security issues have been identifed and analyzed. In this presentation we treat the threats posed by cloned tags that transmit wrong information, or transmit pre-recorded genuine information at the wrong time or place. This presents a vital need for technologies that facilitate authenticity validation of the tag itself (known as ?object integrity?) and its stored and transmitted information. Page 1

"The FDA treats the use of RFID in preventing drug counterfeiting [2]. The following is taken from [3]. "The inherent problem with EPC technology, from a pharmaceutical perspective, is the lack of anti-cloning features in the EPC chip itself.... With current EPC speci?cations, it is possible to programme one chip with the exact data of another, e¤ectively cloning the first chip. Without guaranteed authentication, the usefulness of RFID is signi?cantly reduced. META analysts believe RFID use within the pharmaceutical industry will be limited to a "track and trace" role until EPC speci?cations are revised to make cloning more di¢ cult." (EPC is Electronic Product Code, the value stored in an RFID tag.) Page 1

Open problems pertaining to RFID anti-cloning and some observations, Benjamin Arazi, Dept. of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, March 24, 2007

Source: http://www.ioc.ornl.gov/csiirw/07/abstracts/BenArazi-Abstract.pdf

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:51  

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