Why are HRNZ using LifeChip Microchips

Why are Harness Racing New Zealand using LifeChip Microchips which are produced by Destron Fearing in France...

There have been a number of questions asked by participants on Harness Racing New Zealand’s (HRNZ) criteria for the selection of microchip, so we thought we would share this with you.

When HRNZ researched the type of microchip that should be used we looked very carefully at what was being used elsewhere in NZ, and also globally within the racing industry.  The main concern for us was that the microchip technology was proven and could provide reliable horse identification.

We worked closely with Harness Racing Australia and took advice from the Digivet Veterinarian in charge of the microchip supply on which microchip he believed was best for HRNZ to use.

HRNZ did consider the bio-thermal microchip, and while the bio-thermal chips do offer the ability to read the horse’s 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 reading.

This could lead to a lack of confidence, as this is new technology for our harness participants, in the performance of the microchip, 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 horse’s name will be spoken when the microchip is scanned.

For horse traceability there is also the potential to look at geolocation, but there are privacy matters to work through in NZ before we can implement this.

In the event that HRNZ decide to purchase bio-thermal chips in our next order, the scanners already purchased should scan, both the microchips we will currently use and the bio-thermal chips.

We have in stock just over one year’s supply of LifeChip Microchips, and may consider changing the microchip to bio-thermal in our next order, in line with Canada and also HRA, who have just moved to this technology.


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