SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 21, 2018 — The Seoul city government will actively provide support for “built-in animal registration system” to effectively prevent pets from being lost or abandoned by installing built-in chips. From next year, citizens paying 10,000 won in around 900 animal clinics can have their pets registered with built-in chips. Jointly initiated by the Seoul city government, Consultative Council of Social Contribution of General Insurance Association of Korea and Seoul Veterinary Medical Association, the project is to facilitate the animal registration to accurately understand the status of pet-raising and to achieve “zero” euthanasia of abandoned animals.
“Animal registration system” mandates the pets aged more than 3 months to be registered on the system. The system gives the pets their own ID numbers. Through built-in chip procedure or external chip such as necklaces, pets are registered on the animal protection management system (animal.go.kr). The system holds the record of pet owner’s name, address, contact number and pet’s breeds and age. If a registered pet is lost, the system helps easily find out the pet’s owner.
In particular, “built-in registration of animals” is to insert a wireless identification device (microchip) in a size of a rice grain under the skin of shoulder bone of the animal. This way, the chip is located within the animal’s body. As there’s no risk of damage, loss, and destruction, it’s really effective to prevent pets from being lost or abandoned. Even if a pet is lost, its built-in chip can help quickly find its owners and reach them through contact information.
To actively promote the built-in pet registration system, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will sign an agreement to “facilitate the pet registration through built-in microchip” with Consultative Council of Social Contribution of General Insurance Association of Korea and Seoul Veterinary Medical Association at the meeting room on 8th floor of New Seoul City Hall at 10am on the 21st November.
According to this agreement, the three agencies will pull all the effort in cooperating for facilitating built-in pet registration, preventing pets from being lost or abandoned, figuring out the status of pet raising, and improving the status of pet welfare. The Seoul city government and Consultative Council of Social Contribution of General Insurance Association of Korea each will provide 500 million won every year for built-in pet registration.
The beneficiary of the support for built-in pet registration is all pets raised by Seoul citizens. From next year, if a citizen pays 10,000 won in around 900 pet clinics in Seoul, his/her pets can have a safe procedure to install built-in microchip for pet registration.
In addition, the Seoul city government has run “Seoul Animal Welfare Support Center” since October last year. It has a function of an animal hospital, which is the first of its kind owned by a city in the country. It aims to prevent pets from being abandoned and to go for zero euthanasia of abandoned animals. Since it is established, the center has accommodated 141 abandoned pets. 66% (94 units) of the abandoned pets with serious injury such as fracture due car accident were adopted. The center runs PR campaigns and education programs to enhance citizens’ awareness of abandoned animals. It also holds adoption events for abandoned animals with civic organization for animal protection.
Since the animal registration system was implemented in 2013, the number of registered animals in Seoul has been slowly increasing from 153,000 units in 2013 → 191,000 units in 2014→ 211,000 units in 2015 → 233,000 units in 2016 → 258,000 units in 2017 → 285,000 units as of Oct 2018.
The number of abandoned animals in Seoul was decreased from 11,395 units in 2013 to 8,632 units in 2017. The figures are in inverse proportion to the increasing rates of built-in pet registration from 43,000 units in 2013 to 110,000 units in 2018. The Seoul city government explains that the built-in pet registration has led to an increase in the number of the pets returning to their owners and a decrease in the number of lost or abandoned animals. Out of 141 abandoned animals protected by Seoul Animal Welfare Support Center, 7% (10 units) were able to find their owners thanks to the built-in animal registration.