Discrepancies in the finer details of horse passport law in England, Wales and Scotland are set to cause further confusion among owners.
In Scotland, where legislation is on the same timetable as in England — the deadline being 30 June 2004 — owners can self-certify their horses’ passports.
In England, passport silhouettes must either be filled out by a vet, an “authorised person” or existing ID scanned from another document.
Legislation in Wales is expected to be finalised by autumn, after which owners will be granted a grace period to obtain passports. The Welsh Assembly has yet to decide on its identification policy, and concerns over the region’s hill ponies means it may, like Scotland, allow self-certification.
A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly told Horse & Hound: “We are aware of concerns over the future of Welsh Mountain ponies on the hills. Legal advice is being sought on whether they should be exempt.”
A DEFRA spokesman has confirmed that owners taking horses across the border with England will not have to replace Welsh, Scottish or other European passports with DEFRA-approved English ones.