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Why your horse needs a passport and microchip

Horse passports are required for identification, effective disease control, and to protect the human food chain. Microchips are required for identification also, and to improve animal welfare.

Penn Equine Vets in Frome can help you with equine passports and microchipping for your horse, pony, or donkey. Talk to our experienced equine team for more information and to book an equine visit.

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What the regulations say

Since 28th February 2005, it has been a legal requirement for all Equidae to be issued with a passport from a DEFRA approved Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).

It is an offence for an equine keeper with ‘primary care responsibilities’ – e.g. those caring for a horse on loan, owners, breeders, and trainers – to keep a horse without a passport and you could be fined up to £5000 if you do not have one.

  • 28th February 2005: All Equidae (horses and related animals) must have a DEFRA issued passport.
  • 1st July 2009: All horses applying for a passport must also be microchipped.
  • 1st October 2020: All horses, ponies, and donkeys must be microchipped

The laws on microchipping horses, ponies, and donkeys were brought in to improve animal welfare and reduce cases of abuse. In 2018, the RSPCA released figures that showed over 1,000 horses were rescued the previous year, highlighting the issue of horses being fly-tipped or dumped, many in horrific condition.

Why you need an Equine Passport

Apart from it being the law, equine passports not only contain information on the horse’s identity and microchip number, but also the owner’s details, vaccination history, and certain types of medication the horse has received. It is also used to certify if the owner chooses not to allow the horse, or due to medications received the horse is not permitted, to enter the human food chain.

An equine passport is also required to sell, or transport/export your horse, pony, or donkey overseas.

When you should get an Equine Passport

All foals require a passport before they reach 6 months of age, or before the 31st of December in the year they are born.

If you want to sell or move your foal without its dam earlier than this, you must microchip and passport your foal before you do so.

About horse microchipping

Horse microchipping is a very simple, safe, and quick procedure. A small microchip is inserted into the horses’ crest. Each microchip has a unique number, which will be registered to your horse’s passport and to the national Petlog database.

For further information on passports and microchipping your horse, pony, or donkey, or to book an appointment, please contact Penn Equine Vets .

We can also help you with pre-purchase examinations, equine dentistry, zone visits, and equine healthcare.

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