Since 10 June 2004 it has been a legal requirement for all horses and ponies (and other forms of equidae) in England to have a passport (the Horse Passport (England) Regulations 2005). All owners must obtain individual passports for each horse owned. The following summarises the owner’s responsibility regarding making the passport available. The passport MUST accompany the horse it describes when the horse:
- Is moved from its normal premises to receive veterinary treatment
- Is moved to other premises for competition purposes
- Is moved to the premises of a new keeper, for example for training or breeding
- Is sold or the relevant breed society asks for it
- Is moved into or out of Great Britain
- Is taken to a slaughterhouse for slaughter
When a horse dies or is destroyed, the passport must be sent back to the organisation that issued it.
From 1st July 2009 new regulations require all horses not currently identifiable under the current passport requirements to be microchipped (and also to have a passport obtained for them). Thus, all foals born after 1st July 2009 must be microchipped by the end of the year of their birth or within 6 months of birth, whichever is later. In addition, all older horses not identifiable under the current system will also have to be microchipped.
We recommend that you sign the section nine of the passport for each of your horses. This is the part that declares that your horse will not enter the food chain. Once this section is signed there are NO additional restrictions on the medicines that can be administered to you horse.
If a passport has not had the section nine signed, if the passport is not available for inspection, or if the identification contained within the passport does not match your horse’s markings, there are severe restrictions regarding the medicines that can be administered to your horse. These restricted medicines include Equipalazone (bute) and Sedalin gel/ACP tablets.
Please note once the section nine of the passport is signed this is an irreversible decision. Any horse that has a passport with section nine signed can by definition not be used in the food chain. Therefore when your horse dies or is destroyed you will incur the expense of sending your horse for cremation or if applicable burial.