Confusion surrounding the issue of identification on horse passports continues, as owners may not need to paying a vet or “authorised person” to complete the silhouette after DEFRA’s new “self-certification” deadline of 31 January, as some existing forms of identification can be scanned into new horse passports.

DEFRA has assured the Pleasure Horse Society, which issues generic passports, that it can accept flu vaccination certificates and five-stage vetting certificates. But director Andy Griffiths warns: “DEFRA keeps changing the goalposts every 2min: we are just doing what we’re told.”

The BHS accepts flu vaccination certificates, but says that five-stage vetting certificates do not fit the format of its passports.

A BHS spokesman says: “It’s possible that things may change regarding the vaccination certificates, but if we aren’t allowed to accept them in future it would be an added expense for owners.”

The practice of scanning in flu vaccination certificates and five-stage vetting certificates, both of which include identification markings completed by a vet, has the obvious advantage of avoiding the expense of another vet visit.

But a DEFRA spokesman says that it is at the discretion of individual passport- issuing organisations whether to accept such documents as identification.

Meanwhile, a question mark still hangs over whether it is a problem that the text on some scannable identification forms is not in French as well as English: existing passport legislation requires the printed text on the silhouette to be in both languages.

Confusion also persists over whether Joint Measurement Board height certificates and freeze-marking certificates, which contain a silhouette completed by a vet, can be accepted as identification.


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