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Equine identification - what do you need to do?

Equine Identification – what do you need to do?

My vet has asked to see my passport?

If your vet requests to see your horse’s passport you must provide it without delay, this enables the vet to check the status of your horse and confirm that any treatment they provide is recorded correctly.

My livery yard manager has requested that they hold my horse’s passport?

If your horse is kept on livery where the yard owner/manager has day-to-day responsibility for your horse, as the ‘responsible person’ they should hold the passport so as to be able to provide to a vet on request.  You will need access to your horse’s passport, as it must be available when your horse is transported.

My horse is registered with a Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) that no longer exists, what do I do?

Your passport will still be valid, any PIO that has ceased trading is still listed in the following lists with information as to who to contact for updating.  For example – The Pleasure Horse Society are no longer authorised to issue or update passports, the administration of these passports has been taken over by the Horse Passport Agency.  Full details of all PIO’s can be found in this link

Are there any subsidies for microchipping for people on low income, as there were for dogs?

No, however you have two years during which you are likely to have your vet out for vaccination etc. (all horses should at an absolute minimum be vaccinated for Tetanus) at which time you can request a microchip at minimum expense.

What happens if I do not follow the above?

If you do not comply with the requirements of the legislation you will be in breach of the law, this may be investigated by the Local Authority who are the enforcement body.  This could lead to civil sanctions including financial penalty notices, or criminal prosecution.  It is also an offence to provide false information (e.g. ownership) when applying for or amending a passport.

For the Central Equine Database to be effective in reuniting stolen or straying horses, controlling disease outbreaks and ensuring the controls on horses entering the food chain are sufficient, it is imperative that all horse owners comply with the legislation.

N.B. For vets only – any difficulties with inserting a microchip or on the rare occasion that a horse develops a reaction to a microchip, the attending vet should in the first instance contact the relevant PIO. The failure of the microchip should be reported to the VMD at

Please note – This information is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance.  For further information please contact your local authority (usually the Trading Standards Service)

Equine Identification – what do you need to do?.pdf

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