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Micro-chipping horses – don’t try this at home
The recent outcry from the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) about DIY micro-chipping of horses (yes, apparently people really do) has been reported in this week’s Horse & Hound. According to H&H, Amazon has bowed to pressure and stopped selling micro-chips at £3.99 each for use in dogs, cats, birds and horses. Anyone still undeterred by BEVA’s warning that “With dogs and cats the micro-chip goes under the skin but with horses DIY insertion can go very wrong – risking abscess or infection.” can still try eBay. However, they should take note that the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 prohibits “the practice of veterinary surgery” by unqualified persons except for treatment and operations listed in Part I of Schedule 3 to the Act. The owner of a horse can give it “minor medical treatment” but not “surgery” even if minor. The position may be different for horses used in agriculture. The penalty is a fine – hopefully pitched at a level substantially in excess of the cost of calling out the vet in the first place.