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Approved microchips for use in NSW must comply with ISO:11784 and ISO:11785. ISO means International Standardisation for Organisations. A microchip scanner is used to read the animal's microchip number, which is usually a 15-digit unique identification number. However, some older cats and dogs microchip identification number may contain letters as well as numbers.

An implanted microchip does not cause any ongoing pain or discomfort to your cat or dog. The microchip does not require a battery or any maintenance and is designed to last the life of your pet.

In NSW, all cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first.

If you buy a cat or dog in NSW that is not microchipped, you should report this to a local council for investigation and further action, if appropriate.

All cats and dogs must be listed on the NSW Companion Animals Register (the Register). Following the implantation of the microchip, a Permanent Identification Form (P1A form) is completed confirming the identification information that is to be entered on the Register.

The Authorised Identifier (Vet or qualified implanter) or local council enters the identification information onto the Register and issues the owner with a Certificate of Identification.

Entering identification information on the Register before the cat or dog is lifetime registered helps in reuniting lost or stray animals with their owners.

The information recorded on the Register is also used by authorised officers to enforce the Companion Animals Act 1998. An authorised officer includes an authorised employee of the local council such a Ranger or any NSW Police Officer.

Only an Authorised Identifier can microchip a cat or dog in NSW. An Authorised Identifier may be a vet or a person who has completed the relevant qualification. For example, an animal welfare organisation employee, a vet nurse, a pet grooming business operator, an employee of a pet shop or a breeder.

Some local councils offer low cost microchipping services for residents. Contact your local council to find out more.

Microchipping is usually included in the purchase price of a cat or dog. However, if you need to microchip your cat or dog (because someone has given you the animal or the animal is not microchipped), you should shop around for the best price, as there is no set cost for microchipping.

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