In an effort to fight the rabies outbreak, Jakarta Province's Department of Food, Maritime and Agricultural Affairs (KPKP) has given out 500 free microchips to dog owners and breeders in 2018. The installation of microchips for pets is quite common in Indonesia. About the size of a grain of rice, it is normally injected into the area between the pet's shoulder blades. The identification number will be revealed upon scanning and it can be used to get the owner's name and contact details from the relevant registry. Jakarta is now a rabies-free province and the awareness on the importance of microchip installation has been increasing gradually in Indonesia.
Besides helping governments to control rabies and collect animal data, pet microchips typically play an important role in finding lost pets. The microchip acts as a social security card and lifetime protection for the pet when the tag or collar is nowhere to be found. When a pet is lost, animal shelters and veterinarians will usually check if it is microchipped to expedite the return to its rightful owner. If the pet is stolen, the microchip can be the key for the owner to find the thief too. In these cases, microchips are a great backup option for pet identification.
Pet microchips can be used to protect animal rights and encourage responsible ownership. Authorities can trace the owner and solve cases of animal torture quickly. Oftentimes, pets end up living on the streets due to irresponsible owners and illegal breeders. Excuses such as 'they are too old', 'we cannot afford the medical bills' and 'they got too big' are commonly heard. In worse cases, some animals are exploited by illegal breeders to the breaking point before being disposed of for not having any remaining value.
Though microchipping may not be able to eliminate all problems immediately, it will definitely help to mend the situation. These microchips will improve the pet's status which effectively reduces the cases of pets objectification. According to CNN Indonesia, it is required for all dogs in the sale and purchase activities to be microchipped in Jakarta province in 2019. Governmental efforts like these play a crucial role in informing and educating the public about the importance of pet microchips. With technology advancing at a rapid rate, only time will tell how much more benefits Indonesia and the rest of the world can reap from the small but powerful grain-sized microchips.