New TN law requires microchip for large animals

A tracking device aimed at tracking wildlife is now law for certain species in Tennessee.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A tracking device aimed at identifying wildlife is now law for certain species in Tennessee.

The new Tennessee law requires officials and pet owners to microchip animals that fit into the class one carnivore category.

The law will specifically affect a popular group of animals at Bays Mountain Park, wolves.

“If you have an animal along the lines of a tiger, lion, black bear or in our case a wolf it must be chipped for identification tracking purposes,” said Bays Mountain Park Operations Manager Rob Cole.

“They can just run a little machine over that and see that’s a Bays Mountain wolf so it’s a good thing, it’s never a bad thing,” said Bays Mountain Naturalist Rhonda Goins.

Back in 2009 during a storm a tree fell on the wolf enclosure, releasing the whole pack into the wild.

Goins and Cole said this situation sheds light on how helpful the microchip can be.

“Such an asset would be helpful, as we know it doesn’t always work perfectly but I think it certainly beats the alternative,” said Cole.

The deadline to microchip class one carnivores that are already in captivity is July 2018. Bays Mountain Naturalist will start the process in January.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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