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NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Assn
Published by Pete Cook in News · 13 August 2020
As you know, as from this season all Standardbreds will have microchips implanted to improve identification methods. In response to some questions from a member, HRNZ’s Liz Bishop has outlined the research that was undertaken prior to the introduction, which may be of interest. This is what she said.
“When we researched the type of microchip that should be used we looked very carefully at what was being used elsewhere in NZ and also globally.  The main concern was that the microchip technology was proven and could provide reliable horse identification.

We worked closely with Harness Racing Australia (HRA) and took advice from the vet in charge of the microchip supply on which chip to use.

While the bio-thermal chips do offer the ability to read temperature, we were told that there is a risk that they are not accurate as they reflect the ambient temperature of the environment, so could display a false temperature.
This could lead to a lack of confidence in the performance of the chip (whose main function is horse identification).

The IT team at HRNZ is currently working on linking a scan of the microchip to Google speak technology on the phone so that the horses name will be spoken when the chip is scanned. There is also potential to look at geo-location, but there are privacy matters to work through in NZ.

The scanners will scan both the chips we will use and the bio-thermal chips, in the event we decide to use these when we next order.  We have in stock just over one year’s supply of chips, and will consider changing the chip to bio-thermal next time in line with Canada and also HRA (who have just moved to this technology).”

Pete Cook

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