Announcing Our Latest Equine Microchipping Milestone (2024)

New scanning technology enhances Standardbred industry’s pioneering approach to equine identification and monitoring

RAHWAY, N.J., June 18, 2024 – Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside of the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), is pleased to recognize a 50,000-microchip milestone as part of its ongoing partnership with the United States Trotting Association (USTA). The organization partnered with Merck Animal Health in 2018 to become the first registry to formally incorporate temperature scanning into its microchip identification program and is now using Merck Animal Health Bio-Thermo® microchips exclusively for identifying Standardbred racehorses in the United States.

“At Merck Animal Health, we are committed to the health of horses and those devoted to their care,” says Ron McDaniel, director of U.S. equine sales, Merck Animal Health. “Achieving the 50,000-microchip milestone in partnership with the USTA is more than a measure of progress, it’s a reflection of our shared dedication to advancing equine health and wellness through innovative technology and care solutions.”

Bridging this achievement with the practical application of the technology, USTA’s recent adoption of the Global Pocket Reader™ Plus (GPR+) portable microchip reader represents further advancement in the organization’s approach to horse care management.

Streamlined identification and health monitoring

The GPR+ scanner is designed specifically for use with the Bio-Thermo microchip for horses. By pairing this advanced microchip reader with the EquiTrace® app and signing in with USTA-member credentials, users get enhanced monitoring and health care features. The app will not only identify horses that are registered with USTA, but it will also record and graph temperatures from Bio-Thermo microchips. The app also allows users to consolidate health record keeping, giving them control of horse health data in a secure manner.

Further enhancing its utility, the GPR+ scanner connects with smartphones via the USTA ChipID app. This member-exclusive app, available for free to USTA members on the App Store® and Google Play®, offers efficient temperature monitoring and horse identification, providing a dedicated identification solution tailored to the needs of the user.

“As we hit this achievement with Merck Animal Health, it’s clear that our commitment to leveraging the latest equine identification technology is making a significant impact,” says TC Lane, chief operating officer, USTA. “The integration of the GPR+ reader with the EquiTrace app and our own ChipID app is not just an advancement in identification and health monitoring, it’s a testament to our dedication to providing the best care for Standardbreds and our ongoing promise to enhance member experience through a variety of healthcare solutions.”

The USTA embraced the Bio-Thermo microchip because of its ability to serve not only as a dependable means of identification but also as an effective way for Standardbred trainers and caretakers to record the horse’s body temperature at the scan of a microchip reader. This saves a significant amount of time over rectal thermometers and helps identify febrile horses sooner.

The Bio-Thermo microchip provides a 15-digit identification number, is about the size of a grain of rice, will not wear out and lasts the life of the horse. To learn more about Bio-Thermo microchips, contact your Merck Animal Health equine sales representative or visit

The EquiTrace app is available to download at the App Store or Google Play.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to TheScience of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, producers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

Announcing Our Latest Equine Microchipping Milestone (2024)


Announcing Our Latest Equine Microchipping Milestone? ›

“Achieving the 50,000-microchip milestone in partnership with the USTA is more than a measure of progress, it's a reflection of our shared dedication to advancing equine health and wellness through innovative technology and care solutions.”

How much does it cost to microchip a horse? ›

The cost of having your veterinarian implant the microchip varies, but generally is in the range of $35-$60. Who can I contact for more information? For more information about microchipping your American Quarter Horse, contact AQHA Member Services at 806-376-4811.

Can horses have chips? ›

It contains a compound called atropine, which can affect your horse's autonomic nervous system. Raw potatoes are more dangerous than cooked potatoes, but potato poisoning is still possible even in the form of gnocchi, chips or other potato-based foods.

Can you sell a horse without a microchip? ›

A horse must be microchipped before being sold to a new home, so the breeder will always be the first registered keeper of a horse. On buying a horse, the original owner gives microchip and passport papers to the new owner, who contacts the CED to register the change of ownership.

What is the best microchip reader for horses? ›

EquiTrace recommends the GPR+ microchip scanner. The GPR+ microchip scanner connects to both EquiTrace and the FEI Horse App. To shop for microchip scanners, check out our store.

How to tell if a horse is microchipped? ›

How do I know if my horse is microchipped? Check your passport, if your horse was microchipped prior to the passport being issued (a requirement for all horses passported after July 2009) the chip number should be on the page containing the silhouette diagram.

Should you microchip your horse? ›

Microchips are valuable for reuniting owners with their animals. Microchip implantation is a veterinary procedure and should be performed by a licensed veterinarian. Various breed registries and discipline-specific organizations require horses to be microchipped in order to compete for points, awards, or prize money.

Does AQHA require a microchip? ›

Beginning in 2024, AQHA's method for identifying racehorses changed and all horses that have not been tattooed will need to be microchipped before they can be verified to run at the track.

Can you track a horse with a microchip? ›

Microchips are used for permanent ID and tracking in certain government wild horse programs. The Microchip and Insertion ProcessInjection of the microchip is a simple procedure for horses. The microchip is scanned to make sure it is readable.

When should a horse be microchipped? ›

If a horse has not been previously issued with a passport it will require a microchip before a passport can be applied for. Foals born since 1st August 2009 must be microchipped and have a passport issued before it is 6 months old or by 31 December in the year it's born, whichever is later.

Do microchips have GPS? ›

A: The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. The microchip is not a GPS device and cannot track your animal if it gets lost.

Can I microchip my own horse? ›

How do I get my horse or pony microchipped? Your vet can arrange this for a fee of around £25 to £30. If you are not registered with a Vet, we strongly advise that you do so – your horse or pony's welfare could potentially be compromised without this in place.

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