The British horse industry has welcomed a move to allow horses with European Union passports to be registered with the National Equine Database (NED).

As part of its drive to collate information on every horse living in the UK, NED is allowing owners of horses with non-UK passports to add their animal to the system.

And the database team is working closely with UK equestrian disciplines to include performance and pedigree data for all foreign-bred horses registered for competition purposes.

NED spokesman Jan Rogers told H&H: “Many horses enter the UK to compete and, until now, we have not been able to include them on the database.

“We want the data to complete our information [about the UK horse population], but it is also important for Defra to have a full picture of all the horses in the UK for disease prevention.”

Since NED was launched, most enquiries have been from owners whose horses are not listed because they hold non-UK passports, said Ms Rogers. This includes horses bred in Ireland.

Owners must provide photocopies of the passport to guard against fraudulent use of the system and the data will be flagged up as being user-generated and not “official”.

A £5 registration fee will be charged “to cover processing”.

Eventually, NED hopes to get data straight from the foreign passport issuing authorities when a horse enters the UK.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (14 May, ’09)