Horse transporters and private owners have been subjected to ‘on the spot’ passport checks over the last two weeks as Trading Standards officials stopped horse transporters and private owners as they travel through Britain and demanded a passport is shown for each horse on board.

The incidents have prompted the British Horse Society (BHS) to remind horse owners of the importance of carrying equine passports when transporting their animals. Failure to do so is not only breaking the law but is likely to incur a fine of between £2,000 and £5,000. “The equine passport legislation is law in the UK and anyone transporting their horse for whatever reason must have its passport with them,” said Helen Mauchlen, Development Officer for BHS Scotland.

According to Mauchlen, the mother of a member of the Pony Club was recently threatened with a large fine when officials discovered she was travelling her horse without its passport in central Scotland.

UK horse transport business Eric Gillie Horse Transport, which has been in business for 31 years, has been stopped twice in the last fortnight by passport checks, and the company says it is being forced to turn away business as many owners are not able to provide a passport for their horse.

Company Director Jane Gillie said: “We do not transport any horses without passports but it is amazing how ignorant horse owners can be. Riding club, pony club, competitors and breeders ring us up to move horses and have either sent the passport by post to the new owner or sent it off to the PIO for transfer of ownership. The passports must stay with the horses or the horses should not be travelling.”

For any further info on horse passports and how to get them please visit Defra’s website at www.defra.gov.uk.

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