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Equine identification - what do you need to do?

Equine Identification – what do you need to do?

My horse didn’t have a passport when I bought it?

It is an offence to keep a horse without a passport, you must arrange for your vet to check your horse for a microchip.  If it has a microchip you should check the CED National Equine Chipchecker ( if it is on the system the details of the PIO who issued the original passport will be available, you should contact them and arrange for a replacement passport. If it is not on the CED National Chipchecker you should apply for a passport by contacting one of the passport issuing organisations in this link (

My horse has been stolen?

Notify your PIO who will notify the CED and your horse will be flagged as stolen.  You may also wish to contact your local Horsewatch representative.

I am buying a new horse, are there any checks I should make?

Check the passport for the horse matches the horse you are viewing, note the microchip number and check on the CED National Equine Chipchecker ( that the details are the same as in the passport.  If a horse has been reported stolen it will be flagged on the CED, if the horse has been flagged you should notify the Police or Trading Standards Service.

I have just bought a new horse, what do I need to do?  You must send the issuing PIO the passport within 30 days of purchase so they can update the ownership details and update the CED.  Before sending you should check the microchip number in the CED Chipchecker ( to confirm it is linked to your passport, as you could arrange for this information to be updated at the same time.

I am selling/giving away my horse, what do I have to do?

You must provide the passport to the new owner at the time of the sale/rehoming.  The new owner must then send the passport to the PIO and inform them of the change of ownership and their details (see above question).

When do I need to obtain passports for my foals?

You must have your foals microchipped and apply for passports before they are 6 months of age and at the latest by the 30 November in the year of their birth (there are derogations for semi-feral ponies living on Dartmoor, Exmoor, Wicken Fen and the New Forest).  There are different requirements for Thoroughbred foals intended for racing, further information here –

I have lost my passport, what should I do?

If you know who the issuing PIO was you need to contact them and arrange for a replacement or duplicate passport.  If you do not have any details then you need to scan your horse to check for a microchip, enter this in the CED Chipchecker ( to see if it is linked to a passport, if so, contact the PIO displayed, if not, then you must apply for a passport from one of the PIO’s.

My horse’s passport lists a microchip, but it is not reading on a scanner?

Sometimes microchips can fail, you will need to arrange for your vet to check and if necessary, implant a new microchip. The vet should complete a certificate confirming the details of the new microchip.  Blank forms for your vet to complete should be available from your PIO.  Send your passport to the PIO with the completed form, they will update their records, inform the CED and return your updated passport to you.

My horse’s microchip is registered with PetID, Anibase, etc. but it is not linked to his passport, do I need to notify the PIO?

Yes, to ensure it is updated on your passport and to CED.  See previous question ‘My horse’s microchip is not showing on the Central Equine Database’.

My horse has a passport issued by a European Country (including the Republic of Ireland), what should I do?

You need to notify one of the UK based PIO’s that your horse is resident in the UK, so they can ensure it is entered onto the CED.  As soon as further information on this is received we will update this document.

I or my vet have signed the section excluding my horse from the food chain, do I have to notify anyone?

Yes, you must notify the PIO of the change in status of your horse, they will then update the CED.  Keeping this information up to date enables the slaughterhouses to check the food chain status of all horses sent to slaughter, and ensure that horses that shouldn’t have gone to slaughter have not ended up there.

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