Merck Animal Health and USTA partnership advances equine health through identification – US Trotting News

Madison, New Jersey— Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (NYSE: MRK), is pleased to acknowledge the United States Trotting Association (USTA) 40,000 microchip milestone for the identification of Standardbred racehorses in the United States using Merck Animal Health Bio-Thermo® microchips.

The USTA is one of the largest users of Merck Animal Health‘s Bio-Thermo microchips. Photo by USTA.

The USTA partnered with Merck Animal Health in 2018 to become the first horse registry to officially incorporate temperature scanning into its microchip identification program. The USTA is one of the largest users of Merck Animal Health‘s Bio-Thermo microchips.

“USTA has become a beacon for the industry in embracing this unique identification technology to advance health and wellness in Standardbred racing,” said Ron McDaniel, USA Equine Sales Manager, Merck Animal. Health. “The partnership extends our unconditional and shared commitment to the horse. We are thrilled to recognize what has been accomplished in four short years and even more excited for what lies ahead. »

The USTA adopted the Bio-Thermo chip because of its ability to serve not only as a reliable means of identification, but also as an effective way for groomers to record the horse’s body temperature when scanning a chip. This saves a lot of time compared to rectal thermometers and helps to identify feverish horses earlier.

“We stand firm in the statement that the Bio-Thermo Microchip continues to provide the most secure, efficient and reliable means of identification, which is also the most beneficial to the horse,” says TC Lane, Director of operations, USTA. “This puts the USTA in compliance with the international equine identification standard. As an industry, we recognize that microchip technology is here to stay and see it as a win-win solution for our Standardbreds.

Winbak Farm, one of the largest Standardbred breeding farms in the industry, used temperature-sensing microchip technology to track its annual harvest of more than 330 foals. Bio-Thermo microchips measure a horse’s temperature in seconds to the nearest tenth of a degree.[1] With rectal thermometer readings estimated at at least three minutes per horse, this saves Winbak Farm over 16 hours of labor.

“The microchips certainly help with taking temperatures,” says farm manager Jack Burke. “It’s much faster and safer than doing it rectally.”

Next level chip and management

Pairing the Bio-Thermo chip with the new EquiTrace® horse health management app automates daily temperature mapping and consolidates horse health record keeping – from managing the mare’s ovulation status and from logging therapeutic medications to estimating withdrawal times before race day. The USTA and its members are helping define the use cases and user experience for this innovative combination of Bio-Thermo chip and app.

“I’m also excited about the EquiTrace technology, a tool that Winbak would like to integrate into their current systems,” Burke added. “The ability to view a horse’s full history and add field procedures from your phone sounds like something anyone could be excited about.”

“Often leading change in an industry that has a deep-rooted base is met with resistance,” Lane says. “As an equine organization representing approximately 18,000 members across the United States, the USTA continues to take great pride in our ability to advance equine health and identification processes so that they are performed in the most superior way possible.”

The Bio-Thermo microchip provides a 15 digit identification number, is about the size of a grain of rice, does not wear out and lasts the life of the horse. EquiTrace app and Bio-Thermo microchips work with Global Pocket Reader Plus™ and HomeAgain® UWSR+ microchip readers. The secure, cloud-based, subscription-based EquiTrace app is available for download from the App Store or Google Play.

To learn more about Bio-Thermo or EquiTrace microchips, contact your Merck Animal Health equine sales representative or visit

About Merck Animal Health

For 130 years, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, delivering medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s toughest diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services, as well as a comprehensive suite digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, welfare and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests heavily 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, Twitter and Instagram.

[1] Langer F, Fietz J. Ways to measure body temperature in the field. J. Therm. Biological. 2014 May;42:46-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.03.002.

Boyd S. Abbott