News & Press: NZVA media release

Veterinarians supporting pet owners over potential microchip failures

Thursday, 11 January 2018  
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Source: NZ Veterinary Association

Please note that since this statement was released, Virbac has announced that it will only replace a microchip from the recalled batches if the chip has failed.


This press release updates the prior statement from the NZVA to give clarity to the chip numbers that may be faulty. Please disregard the previous update.

Animal health product provider Virbac has identified potential failure in three batches of their microchips used between 2009 and 2012.

Due to this possible failure in some of these microchip batches, Virbac has requested veterinarians replace these microchips.

Veterinarians have answered this call and are working with Virbac and the New Zealand Companion Animal Register to support pet owners in replacing chips which may be faulty.

Virbac have arranged with veterinarians to cover the costs of having a second microchip inserted and registered if your pet has a microchip from the faulty batches.

The failure rate of microchips is exceedingly low. These three batches of Virbac BioTec microchips have not been used since 2012 after they were recalled. They represent less than 0.7 percent of all microchips in New Zealand.

Microchipping and registering your pet with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register remains the New Zealand Veterinary Association's recommended method of permanent identification for pets.

They have shown their value with the successful repatriation of thousands of lost animals in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and have continued to show their value with veterinarians across the country. Microchips allow veterinarians and other registered rescue outlets in New Zealand to quickly contact owners in the event of an emergency.

How to find out if your pet's microchip needs replacing

If your pet was microchipped between 2009 and 2012 they may have a chip that is at risk of becoming unreadable sometime in the future.

Microchip numbers can usually be found in your pet's vaccination record booklet.

If the 15 digit microchip inserted in your pet starts with either of these numbers:




please make an appointment with your veterinarian to have a second microchip inserted and registered.

Virbac will arrange with the veterinarian to cover the cost of placing the second microchip, and this will provide additional security in the event that your pet goes missing. .

If your pet may have been microchipped between 2009 and 2012 and you do not have a copy of the microchip number, or are unsure if you are affected, you can email the New Zealand Companion Animal Register at to find out. Please provide your full name and contact details, including previous addresses you may be registered under, along with the microchip number if you have it. The Companion Animal Register will find your microchip number for you and will advise whether or not you need to contact your veterinarian. This is also a good opportunity to ensure your contact details are up-to-date on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.

If you'd prefer, you can take your pet to your veterinary clinic to be scanned to check if the microchip is functional and ensure it is not from one of the faulty batches listed above.