The first courses for people wishing to become authorised to fill in silhouettes for horse passports are being run this month.

Passport issuing organisation (PIO) the Pleasure Horse Society (PHS) has set up several training days for “passport representatives” in which vets teach people to fill in silhouettes accurately. Candidates who pass will be authorised by the PHS to fill in the identification section on its passports and to charge up to £10 for doing so — potentially saving owners money.

Andy Griffiths from the PHS says: “We placed an ad in Horse & Hound for this a few weeks ago and had 450 replies. The first training day, for 75 people, takes place next week and hopefully the first people who pass will start filling in silhouettes shortly after.

“Everyone on the course sent in a completed silhouette of their own horse beforehand. Applicants vary from retired vets and veterinary nurses to blacksmiths and AIs.”

Other PIOs, including the Welsh Pony and Cob Society, have similar schemes in the pipeline, but some, including the BHS, are restricting silhouette completion to vets, and are not taking up a wider interpretation of DEFRA’s “authorised person” allowance.

A spokesman for the BHS explains: “The only ‘competent’ persons recognised by the BHS are vets and owners whose horses are microchipped. We have no plans to train competent persons.”

  • This story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (18 March 04)


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