The Baguio City Council has suspended the provision on mandating all pet owners in the city to have their dogs embedded with an identification microchip, after dog owners who object to the rule filed a petition.

During its regular session on Monday, the issuance of implementing rules and regulation on the application of technology, sections of Ordinance No. 60, series of 2020, which requires all dogs to be microchipped, would not be enforced in the meantime.

The microchip records the animal’s vaccination history and its owner’s details. At the same time, the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) will be able to locate lost dogs or find owners when the animal gets caught or held at the pound.

Microchips can help the city government build a pet database, which is also in line with the city government’s mission to reduce or eliminate rabies infections, according to CVAO.

Baguio Against Mandatory Dog Chipping Group led the petition, noting that there are possible side effects that may harm animals injected with the microchip. The petition also argues microchipping dogs will be ineffective when tackling the region’s appetite for dog meat.

“Eating dog meat has been the culinary practice of many Asian countries and particularly in the Cordillera region where it’s rampant despite it being illegal. Stolen dogs are kept hidden and used for breeding purposes. Microchips do not act like GPS (global positioning system) devices where you can easily trace the animal’s location when lost. There is nothing that a microchip can do equally well as an ordinary dog collar or tag which can readily be read without using any scanner,” the petition indicated.

Aside from that, the group also said the mandatory chipping of companions animals was “anti-poor.”

“Microchipping isn’t a necessity that an ordinary leash or collar, pet food, vaccines, vitamins, pet care products, and a loving family and shelter can provide. We urge the government of Baguio to reconsider offering microchipping and (make) registration free of charge for pet owners who chose this registration option,” the petition added.

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