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Microchip vs. tattoo - What should you use?

Before the RFID technology animals where marked with a tattoo on the ear or inner leg side. The benefit was that the number was visible from the outside but it had major disadvantages.

Here is a comparison:

Tattoo Microchip
Dog's tattowed ear Microchip
- A tattoo fades relatively quickly and is not readable then. + The chip number can be read during the animal's whole life span with a scanner.
- Even a freshly made tattoo is difficult to read on dark skin. + The skin color doesn't matter at all.
- The animal has to be touched to raise the ear or the leg. It is not easy when the animal is scared or agressive. + The scanner can be hold several cm away from the animal.
- Tiny animals can not be tattooed. + The mini chip (1,4 x 8,5 mm) is suitable for nearly all animals.
- The animal has to be put under anesthesia during the process. It is costly and time cunsuming. + If operated correctly, the chip can be set in seconds without any harm for the animal.
- There are no standards for the code, every vet has its own system. It makes it hard to identify the owner correctly. + The structure of the chip number is ISO standardized. The manufacturer can be identified easily.
- The codes are not unique. There are no control mechanisms to guarantee that. + ICAR controls the numbers and the manufacturers. The number on certified chips is unique and the ISO standards guaranteed.
- Tattoos can be forged easily. + The chip number is read only and provides a certain degree of security.
- The tattoed ear can be cut off by crimninals. + The chip stays safe under the animals skin.
+ The number is visible from the outside. - The chip nuber can be read with a special scanner only.