All horses and donkeys must now have a passport by law and to apply for a passport all horses and donkeys must have an ID chip.
As from 1st July 2009 it is an offence for a keeper with primary care responsibilities, e.g. full livery yards, breeders, trainers, transporters, to keep a horse that hasn’t been issued with a passport.
Where can we get one from?
You can get an application form from an authorised passport issuing organisation (PIO).
Who can do it?
Only a registered veterinarian can ID a horse and complete the identification profile. A foal must have an ID chip and passport before it is 6 months old or by 31st December in the year it is born, whichever is later.
Once your horse’s passport is issued it is valid for its life. When the animal dies you must return the passport to the PIO that issued it to have it invalidated. You can request that they return it to you.
What is a passport?
Your animal’s passport is a small booklet containing the following information:
- Their ID chip number
The medication your horse is given is recorded in Section IX of your horse’s passport.
The horse can be declared as intended or not intended for the human food chain in section IX of the passport.
It is here that the vet records any medication or injections they give to your horse. It is important that these details are correct and up to date as this affects what happened to your horse when they die.
Why do we need them?
Passports are used to ensure prohibited drugs do not enter the food chain for human consumption. By having a legal record of what drugs each horse has been administered and whether they have been declared as not fit for human consumption, helps eliminate the chance of these animals entering the food chain.
We also need passports for horses to help prevent the sale of stolen horses as their identity can be traced.
If your horse does not have a passport then you are not allowed to move or transport your horse or donkey.
It also means that vets are legally restricted in the drugs and medication that they are allowed to give as some must be recorded. If there is no passport to record them on then their administration of the drug is illegal.
It is worth noting that you can be fined up to £5000 if your horse does not have a valid passport.
What do we do with it?
Selling or buying a horse, pony or donkey
You must give the passport to the new owner if you sell your animal. If you don’t you could be prosecuted.
If you buy a horse, pony or donkey you need to let the PIO know that you are the new owner within 30 days of purchase.
It is highly recommended that you contact your local Trading Standards Office if someone tries to sell you a horse, pony or donkey without a passport.
Importing or exporting a horse, pony or donkey
Any horse, pony or donkey you import from a European Union (EU) country must have a valid passport issued by an authorised PIO in the EU.