A new electronic monitoring system from BioMedic Data Systems Inc., of Maywood, N.J., can make the identification of animals throughout the course of an experiment as easy as reading the bar codes on groceries at supermarket checkout counters.

The key to this system—called the Electronic Laboratory Animal Monitoring System (ELAMS)—is an 1 1-mm microchip transponder that is encased in glass and implanted subcutaneously or intramuscularly via a disposable stainless steel needle. The chip is preprogrammed with a unique, unalterable 10-digit number, which the transponder transmits to. a computer when placed within range of the lowfrequency radio signal emitted by the ELAMS scanner. Both portable and stationary scanners enable “reading” under a variety of research conditions.

This new technology can be seen as a major improvement over traditional identificatioh methods of ear notching, toe clipping, and tail tattoeing from both an ethical and practical standpoint.

“Ear notching and toe clipping are...

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