The Microchip Trade Association was originally formed in the early 1990’s by a group of veterinary bodies, microchip suppliers and major users such as large animal charities, to regulate the microchip industry, it was known then as the ‘Microchip Advisory Group’ (MAG) and chaired by the BSAVA.
The group formed around the same time as the FECAVA standard for microchips was introduced in the UK to discuss the compatibility and technical issues as microchipping developed throughout the UK & Europe. The main issues were developing and coordinating databases, standardisation of implantation sites and non-compatibility of the early chips and readers and helping to get the FECAVA standard in place.
It also became a focal point to advise welfare and veterinary organisations so MAG created the code of conduct to establish and maintain a high standard of excellence within the industry covering equipment, databases and training.
Between 1996-1997 the International Standards Organisation (ISO) introduced the ISO 11784 - 11785 standard to bring a universal microchip to animal identification which was adopted in the UK & Europe in a 2 year transition period.
The group continued to meet 2-3 times per year to maintain the standards and communication within the industry.
In 2012 MAG underwent reorganisation and became the Microchip Trade Association (MTA) representing the suppliers in the industry who have signed the new code of practice. Veterinary Surgeon Fred Nind MRCVS when had been extremely active in MAG was asked to remain as an independent 'wide head' chair.
The Welfare organisations and veterinary bodies became the Microchip Alliance and the Databases continue to meet independently. All organisations continue to communicate between themselves and DEFRA
The MTA has been instrumental in developing the adverse reaction scheme formerly held by MAG now run by the Veterinary Medical Directorate (VMD) to monitor the reliability of microchips in companion animals. The group has also played a key role in advising the government in relation to the new compulsory dog microchipping legislation.
The MTA worked with DEFRA on The Microchipping of Dogs Act 2015 and with LANTRA in developing training courses, and now has its own Secretary of State Approved Training Course.
In late 2020 the MTA decided to invite DEFRA registered databases to become members, this was partly out of concern regarding the confusion being caused by non-UK based - and so non-approved databases.
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