The New Zealand Companion Animal Council plans to coordinate the training and on going quality assurance of Microchip Implanters who are not Veterinarians or Veterinary Nurses working under the direct supervision of a suitably qualified Veterinarian or within an Approved Veterinary Clinic.
A core belief behind the creation of the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR), was that the system was to protect the welfare of animals. This would be done, not just by getting lost pets home, but also by ensuring microchipping was done professionally and responsibly.
For this reason the NZCAC has always required implanters wanting to use the NZCAR to have proof they have an acceptable level of training in implanting animals. Currently the NZCAC policy allows implanters who are:
- A qualified practising veterinarian in association with an approved vet clinic
- A qualified vet nurse working within an approved vet clinic or under the supervision of a practising veterinarian
- An implanter who has completed an approved microchipping course (e.g. MTI course)
- An organisation that uses someone who meets one of the above criteria.
Previously the only non tertiary qualification that has been acceptable has been the Mahurangi Technical Institute (MTI) “Certificate in Microchipping Companion Animals” course. With the recent demise of this course it has left a vacuum with new implanters wanting certification, or current MTI graduates needing to complete their biennial recertification.
In order to build on its commitment to ensure that the Microchipping of animals as a rehoming tool is as effective as it can be, over the next few months the NZCAC will be developing a new microchipping course, covering theory, practical training, ongoing supervision and a more simplified recertification. This course will be available to anyone involved in animal welfare and is wanting training in the microchipping of companion animals.
Recognising that implanters are spread all over New Zealand, the current proposal is to create a new course manual for implanters to follow and to use for training. There will also be online audit systems to track implanters and how many chips are being implanted to simplify recertification. There will also be a hands-on practical training component offered at various locations around the country.
The goal is to have this new course up and running by the end of 2016.
In the meantime the NZCAC have approved an amnesty for MTI graduates who are currently registered implanters on the NZCAR and needing to recertify so that they can continue to implant. The Council recognised it was unfair to impact on existing implanters if there was no suitable alternative in place.