Council leaders have called for horse passports to be scrapped — describing the legislation as “outdated, ineffectual and burdensome” to local authorities.

The request, put to ministers in a government consultation (11 August), was among a list of suggested ways to cut unnecessary red tape.

The report categorises horse passports with outdated laws such as the need for bicycles to have bells and for “accidental” chimney fires to be classed as an offence, stating: “The rule is only relevant in countries where horsemeat is commonly eaten, for which there is a minimal market in the UK.”

But the call has received a mixed response from the equestrian industry, which believes the system is flawed, but should not be scrapped.

Check out the view of industry representatives including Dr Madeleine Campbell, president of the British Equine Veterinary Association; Carol Smetten-Minson, secretary of Passport Issuing Organisation Gypsy Cob Society; Buckingham Trading Standards and a Defra spokesman