Horse passport regulations from 1 July

Please find below a summary of the changes to passport regulations which kick in on 1 July 2009.

  • From 1 July, every foal must be microchipped by 31 December in the year of its birth or by six months old
  • Owners of horses over six months old who do not have a passport must apply before 31 December 2009 and the horse must be signed out of the food chain.
  • Horses for whom duplicate or replacement passports are required must also be marked out of the food chain
  • Only vets may microchip horses and chips may only be implanted in the neck
  • Ponies on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the New Forest will not need passports or microchips until they leave the moor, unless they are treated by a vet. Rump stickers and passports will be used when a pony is moved for slaughter
  • The keeper of a horse is responsible for ensuring it is passported
  • Only an owner can apply for a passport. Changes of ownership must be made within 30 days
  • A horse’s passport must be carried each time it is transported. An inspector can also require that a passport be produced within three hours at any other time
  • Vets must check a horse’s passport before it is treated with any medicine and record the drug on the passport. If a passport is not available, only drugs suitable for use within the food chain may be used.
  • Passports must be returned to the PIO within 30 days of a horse’s death
  • Failure to comply with the regulations is punishable by a fine of up to £5,000

This information was first published in Horse & Hound (25 June, 09)

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