Passports and Microchipping

Since 2004, the Horse Passport regulations have meant that owners require a passport for every horse.

New equine identification regulations means it is now mandatory for all horses, ponies and donkeys in England, Wales and Scotland to be microchipped. This will allow local authorities and the police to track the owners of abandoned, lost or stolen horses, so they can be reunited with their owners more easily. Please see the deadlines for when your equine must be microchipped by:

  • England: by 1st October 2020
  • Wales: by 12th February 2021
  • Scotland: by 28th March 2021

Some Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) only require confirmation of a microchip before they will issue a passport, many still require a silhouette to be sketched by the vet. Generally, a passport with a completed silhouette is preferable as organisations/treating veterinary surgeon may wish to identify the horse without having a microchip scanner to hand and this provides an easier method.

Applications for foals passports must be completed within six months of birth or by the 31st of December in the year it is born, whichever is later.

Where non-passported horses are found to have a microchip already inserted, owners should check if any previously issued passports are associated with that microchip number by contacting PIOs.

A passport is not proof of ownership, although every horse sold must be accompanied by a passport and ownership changes should be registered with the passport issuing organisation within 30 days.

DEFRA currently advise that persons selling horses without passports should be reported to the local trading standards office.

Horse’s should be accompanied by their passport at all times and should be available at the time of veterinary treatments

From a medicines point of view it is important that you have signed section IX (9) of the passport declaring the horse is not intended for human consumption.

Owners are reminded to have their passports present at the time of vaccination. This is not always possible and so there are times where we are required to fill the passport in after the date it was vaccinated. Where possible please avoid sending the passport into the office. If there is no rush please ask the vet (or a vet from the same practice) to update the passport next time they are on the yard. If there is no easy alternative passports can be posted to the practice but should be done so by recorded confirmed delivery sent with a self-addressed envelope and the necessary postage to cover the cost of a return confirmed deliver sticker. Alternatively the passport can be collected from the office.
Please note owners send their passport at their own risk, Equitait Veterinary Practice accepts no liability for the passport being lost, stolen or damaged during this process.