Court halts nationwide sale of ISO FDX-B chips
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2004
San Diego, California--
The San Diego Superior Court yesterday issued a preliminary injunction blocking Medical Management Interational, dba Banfield, ThePet Hospital, from selling or advertising ISO FDX-B microchips for pet ID. Banfield Pet Hospitals are located in PETsMART stores throughout the United States.
If Banfield wants to resume selling or promoting its RecoveryChip, its written promotional materials and advertisements must first be submitted to the court, in order to ensure that they disclose that "134.2 kHz electronic identification tags . . . cannot be read by the vast majority of scanners in U.S. shelters." Judge William C. Pate noted that "the potential for serious, irreparable harm warrants the issuance of a mandatory preliminary injunction . . . specifically the increased potential for pets to be euthanized while their owners believe them to be safe."
The order is the result of a consumer protection lawsuit filed in May 2004, after Banfield's distribution of its chips triggered a strong response by the pet shelter community.
Pet microchipping systems use a scanner (or reader) to read a small microchip that is injected under the skin of a pet. The 134.2 kHz microchip, used in several foreign countries, cannot be read by scanners used by most American veterinarians and shelters.
The court also ordered Banfield "to notify all purchasers of its RecoveryChip, or any other 134.2 kHz electronic identification tags it has sold, as well as all veterinarians to whom it has recommended these products" of the chip's limitations.
The injunction requires Banfield's notification to be approved by the Court, and to state that only certain, specifically listed shelters are equipped with scanners that can read Banfield's chip. The notification also must disclose that the mere fact that shelters have such scanners "does not guarantee that the shelters will actually use those scanners on lost pets." Finally the notification must further disclose "that the majority of shelters presently use a scanner that will not detect or read [Banfield's] implanted chip."
"Judge Pate's order may very well save pet's lives," said Hannis L. Stoddard III, DVM and president of AVID, one of the parties that brought the lawsuit. AVID manufactures Friend Chips, a microchip pet ID tag that has been used successfully throughout the country to reunite pets with their families for years.
"Today's decision . . . is an important step in stopping and remedying an advertising campaign that the court recognized was likely to deceive consumers and create a risk of unnecessarily euthanized pets," states Daniel Pascucci of Fish & Richardson, counsel for AVID and veterinarian Robert Stonebreaker, D.V.M., who filed the consumer protection lawsuit against Banfield.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Dan Knox , Director Companion Animal Field Operations, 314.487.5842, Avidsaveslives@AvidID.com
Teresa Y. Warren, TW2 Marketing, 619.582.5750, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info about AVID, visit www.avidid.com
For more info about Fish & Richardson, visit www.fr.com