After being talked about for a number of years and promised in a presentation during the last HRNZ Annual Conference, it seems that microchipping of horses is finally upon us, with the following announcement:
“As of August 1st 2021 all Standardbred foals will now be microchipped and DNA tested only. HRNZ will no longer be freeze branding. This means that freeze branding will no longer be carried out on Standardbreds.
Harness Racing New Zealand is using the LifeChip Microchips which are produced by Destron Fearing in France.
This is the same technology that is used by many racing entities around the world including Harness Racing Australia, so the microchips have already been successfully implanted in racehorses.
Microchipping will improve traceability and options for Standardbreds when they retire from the sport.
Our horse identifiers have been trained by a Veterinary surgeon on the process of implanting the microchips.
The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and the method of inserting the chip is very simple. The area that the microchip is implanted into is sterilised and shaved of long hair. The microchip is then placed along the top of the neck, beside the nuchal ligament, halfway between the ears and the withers.
It will be the responsibility of the owner and/or trainer to be able to correctly identify their horse(s), and HRNZ has updated the infohorse database to include the Microchip numbers.”
The Trainers & Drivers Assn. is currently investigating if any bulk buying has been arranged for any or all of the three scanners that HRNZ are recommending. More on that soon.