Auction website eBay has suspended the account of someone trying to sell a horse passport.

Seller “tomswife10” from Chester was illegally auctioning the “used” passport issued by the Horse Passport Agency, at a starting price of £4.99.

On 28 September, with just one day left on the auction, it had no bidders and was removed.

A spokesman for eBay told H&H: “We suspended the account and all listings have been removed.

“We can’t reveal the reasons for suspending the account, suffice to say they were operating inappropriately.”

The Horse Passport Agency is one of nearly 80 UK Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs), and claims to have issued over 165,000 passports.

Manager Andrew Davis said: “It is a concern to hear of a horse passport being offered on eBay, but with so many passports in circulation, especially for dead animals, I’m afraid not totally unexpected.”

Mr Davis said the PIO has contacted eBay for more details and is investigating.

He added: “It is perhaps a good time to remind horse owners that all passports must, by law, be returned to the passport issuer in the event of an animal’s death.”

The eBay spokesman said ensuring people can trust the site is of the “utmost importance”.

“We have sophisticated technology and processes in place to monitor for policy breaches and to identify illegal or potentially illegal activity,” she said.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (14 October, ’10)