In the wake of the horse meat scandal, a survey has uncovered further evidence that the horse passport system needs a massive overhaul.

Eighty per cent of respondents believed the current system “does not fulfil its purpose”.

Nearly 4,000 people — including owners, vets, passport issuing offices, abattoirs and vets — completed the survey sent out by the Equine Sector Council for Health and Welfare.

The results show a “dramatic lack of confidence” in the system, said the group.

“This puts us in a much better position to show the scale of misunderstanding of the rules,” said sector council chairman Jeanette Allen.  “We need to move forward now to create a simpler system and ensure that communication is improved.”

Last month a letter was sent out to the UK’s 75-plus passport issuing organisations (PIOs), outlining the Europe Commission’s plans for member states to implement a single PIO and central database (news, 9 May).

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (6 June 2013)