DOG owners have welcomed the Government's plan to put microchips carrying the dog's particulars under its skin as they believe it will help them find their lost pets. Wong Yau-kan, who has a six-month-old Chow, Lian-mui, at his Aberdeen home, said the microchip was good news for his family. ''If Lian-mui gets lost, we can have her back more easily because stray dogs can be identified more quickly,'' Mr Wong said yesterday, after Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) officers gave the dog an anti-rabies vaccination. Officers yesterday launched the operation for dogs in fishing boats at the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter. The department plans to introduce the electronic device this year to reduce the number of stray dogs. The grain-sized microchip will serve a similar purpose to bar codes on consumer goods. The dog can be identified after a 10-digit code on the microchip containing the dog's computerised data is read by a scanner. Another dog owner, Wong Man-kwong, also supported the scheme, saying the microchips and the vaccination record could help to check whether dogs were safe. According to AFD veterinary officer Richard Rubria, the department is still seeking the $300,000 needed for the electronic system. ''We are now writing a funding proposal for the project, we hope to launch a pilot scheme on a small number of dogs before the end of this year,'' said Dr Rubria. The system would include a machine to plant the microchips, costing about $30 to $40 each, under the dogs' skin and a computer system to store ownership information. ''The system could help us to identify the owners of stray dogs quickly so that owners could come and collect their dogs as soon as they can. ''If the dogs bite, we can also have their records of anti-rabies vaccine injection checked through the microchips. This is also very important,'' said Dr Rubria. He said the implantation of the microchip would be similar to vaccination and would harm the dogs' health.