You do not want to put a microchip in your horse!
ààà Microchips can cause cancer! Read this article by Jane Williams.
We, the Dutch Group Nijhof, have great concerns about microchipping horses. Here you can find many reasons why we think you should not microchip your horse.
We feel greatly supported by: Anky van Grunsven, Jeroen Dubbeldam, Jan Tops, IJsbrand Chardon, Johan Rockx, Stal de IJzeren Man en Studbook Zangersheide who share our thoughts.
Look at the photo-page for photo's and stories of victims.
This website is now partly translated in English because of many international questions that reach us. In the menu you can find the English pages.
Note: English is not our first language so we would be very pleased if you contact us when you find mistakes.
The content of this site is mostly written by Annemieke Bos, Ingrid van Dijk and Dorien Nannings. We are not responsible for any action taken as a result of reading this site.
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Why are we against the chipping of horses?
1) Placing a foreign body in a living organism
We wonder why a foreign body in a person always needs to be removed (unless it is medically necessary not to remove it) whilst it is deemed acceptable to intentionally inject a foreign body into our horses and to leave it in. We have seen microchips causing problems too many times. The horse’s body rejects the microchip and builds a connective (scar) tissue around it. Indeed, the whole intention is that the scar tissue holds the microchip in place! Sometimes, however, the connective tissue attaches to the rhomboideus muscle. The muscle can then not function correctly and as a result the horse cannot bend its neck to the left, or in the best case, can only bend it partially.
2) A microchip is not reliable
An installed chip can easily be manipulated or destroyed. One only needs simple tools that are readily obtainable. Remove the old chip and install a new one and you have got yourself a new horse!
3) Identification method.
There are better non-intrusive identification methods like the Iris Scan and DNA Testing. DNA testing only requires the use of a few hairs from the horse, it is completely reliable and costs only a little more than micro-chipping.
4) Registration of Medication
Registration of medication is the only lawful reason why in the Netherlands all horses must be identifiable by chipping. But why is this? The European Union (EU) has ruled that medication used in cattle for slaughter shall be registered for each animal. For horses, this means that each horse should have an equine passport in which all medication is registered because there is no way that such information can be recorded on a microchip. All a microchip can do is to transmit a number when it is activated by a
Chip Reader. However, as long as de-worming medication (chemical waste) does not have to be registered, why register other medication? The equine passport is all you need according to EU law, so why is a chip needed as well? (read points 5 and 6)
5) Food safety
Microchips in each country are not always readable in another country. 90% of the horses in the Netherlands end up in Italy to be slaughtered. Do you really think that they use Dutch chip readers to locate the chip to remove it? And what about the 20% of microchips that become defective (read the EU report and the Conclusions) Are horses that have a non-functioning chip X-rayed so that the chip can still be removed? We do not think so. In the same EU report, the EU concludes that a microchip is unsuitable for cows etc. because of the possibility that the chips end up in the human food chain. So why is it that horses must be chipped? Another question? How can you identify a horse when the chip is defective or nowhere to be found? You cannot! So how will you know what medical treatment this horse has had and when, and whether this horse can be used for human consumption because of possible medication in the recent past? So what is identification worth if in practice, you cannot identify an animal?
This is all very strange and knowing that chips are most likely NOT being removed in the Italian slaughterhouses, we asked the Dutch organization carrying out the chipping regulations. Their response was “ we notified other countries about the chipping regulations in the Netherlands”. That is it! There is no control whatsoever on chips being removed in Italy or elsewhere for that matter!
Knowing that horse meat is used in many snacks, consumers are at risk of getting pieces of glass and metal on their plates, as has happened in two cases in the Netherlands in May 2005.
Why is it that all the organizations that profit from chipping animals assure us that there is absolutely no harm in chipping horses, whilst at the same time admitting that there has not been any proper research into the possibility of long term problems? They point to racehorses that have been chipped for years, but racehorses use their necks in a completely different way to dressage and show jumping horses. They also say that a chip cannot travel through the horse’s body. But if there are problems with an injected chip, the chip manufacturer has a special form to be filled in to identify the new location of the chip when it has traveled more than 5 cm. from its original place of injection! And why is it that if chipping horses is without any risk, the owner is responsible for everything once he allows his horse to be chipped? If things do go wrong, for example, if the horse has difficulties bending its neck to the left, it is up to the owner to prove that the chip has caused the problem. Because there has never been any proper research, they do not know what can go wrong and simply start denying it, leaving the horse owner out in the cold with a lot of vets bills to pay and a horse that is worthless.
7) Discrimination of people who do not want to chip their horse
People who prefer a 100% safe method to identify their horse by means of DNA testing cannot have their horses slaughtered. For some of us this is not a problem because that is not the way we wish to end our horse’s life. But for most people it is normal to have their horses slaughtered and they are consequently robbed of the money that would bring. Why is that?
Medication is still not being entered in the horse’s passport, so all that they are doing is NOT putting glass and metal into their horse, which may end up on somebody’s plate! They are therefore being punished.
8) Last but not least
Where is this leading? Eventually it is getting very easy for tax authorities to find horse owners. All arguments in the Netherlands such as: needed for identification against fraud in competition; against theft etc. are to make the story acceptable to the public. In the meantime there is hardly any control on the borders between countries and in slaughterhouses.
Germany refuses to chip all horses because of the lack of research on possible complications in the long run. Spain has stopped chipping and Ireland is experimenting. But the Dutch government needs to be better than the rest and has a holier-than-thou attitude.
We understand why people did get their horses chipped. At first everybody in the Netherlands thought that they did not have a choice in the matter. The DNA alternative is not made known by the organizations that promote chipping. But well known riders refuse to chip their horses. Riders such as Anky van Grunsven, Jeroen Dubbeldam, Jan Tops, IJsbrand Chardon, Johan Rockx, and organizations like Stal de IJzeren Man and the Studbook Zangersheide, do not like to risk anything going wrong with their horses.
We hope that everyone who reads this site will understand that chipping horses is NOT a good idea: not for the horses and not for the human food chain. The only beneficiaries of chipping are the chip manufacturers.
If you want the best for your horse, choose DNA testing which is available now. In the near future the Iris Scan will be available. This is a marvelous system that will combine all the advantages that every government wants in an electronic identification system.