Passports & Microchipping

All horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals (including zoo species like zebras) must have a horse passport by law. The

passport is a small booklet that identifies your animal by its height and species and must be issued by a recognized body (eg. breed society). It states whether your animal can be used for food at the end of its life, and if so lists any medications it has been given. You may declare that your animal isn’t intended for human consumption by filling in the appropriate section of the passport. This can not be changed at a later date. If you do not complete the declaration in the passport, it is assumed the animal is intended for human consumption at the end of its life.

All horse passports issued since 1 July 2009 must contain a microchip number. A passport is needed for every equine and lasts the animal’s lifetime. A horse’s passport must be with the animal at all times (eg. if you keep your animal in a livery stable the passport must be kept at the stable and the passport must accompany the animal when transported).

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You need to show it:

  • On demand from a local authority enforcement officer, like a Trading Standards inspector.
  • When you sell or give the animal to someone else.
  • When a vet examines or treats your animal.
You could get an unlimited fine if you can’t show a valid horse passport for an animal in your care.

If your horse does not have a passport or you have a new foal, we can arrange to complete a passport application and implant a microchip if one is not already present. It is then the owner’s responsibility to send in the application with the appropriate fee to the issuing passport authority.

Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2009.

The passport contains information which identifies the horse for which it was issued and can contain up to nine sections of which sections I, II, III, IV and IX are compulsory.

Section I Owner: The name of the owner or his agent.

Sections II and III Identification:

The horse must be identified by the competent authority (vet). This section should include the electronic microchip number. If no microchip is present, one will be implanted by the vet. A written description and/or a diagram showing the markings of the horse should also be completed for ease of identification.

Section IV Recording of identity checks:

Whenever laws or regulations require, checks on the identity of the horse must be recorded by the competent authority.

Section IX Medicinal treatment and declaration:

If your horse is not intended for human consumption, please sign the appropriate section. If this section is not completed, your vet will need to complete the other section with details of any medicines your horse may be prescribed or administered. Please ensure this section is completed before presenting the passport to the vet.

Other sections may include information such as Vaccinations Records (V and VI) and Laboratory Health Tests (Section VII). These sections are not compulsory for every horse but may be required by some Stud Book Authorities or other recognized organizations.

If the horse is not accompanied by a valid passport it is an offence for an owner to:

  • Export a horse.
  • Use a horse for the purposes of competitions.
  • Move a horse to the premises of a new keeper.
  • Present for slaughter for human consumption.
  • Sell a horse.
  • Use a horse for breeding purposes.
Foals born after 1st July 2009 must be microchipped when first identified. This must be done before 31st

December in the year of its birth, or by 6 months after its birth, whichever is later. Insertion of a microchip is an act of veterinary surgery and can only be carried out by a registered veterinary surgeon.

Older horses born before 30th June 2009 that have not yet been issued with a passport must also be microchipped when identified for the first time.

Detailed guidance notes can be found on the BEVA website

FEI Passports

Information on applying for a passport for horses competing in international events is available on the FEI website

For a horse to compete at recognized FEI competitions, it must have a valid FEI passport with the following:

1. Current FEI validation sticker showing the passport is in date.

2. Be accurately identified by the markings page and microchip (microchips are mandatory for any horses registered with the FEI since January 2013 and will eventually become compulsory for all FEI horses.

3. Have correct and up to date vaccination status as per FEI rules.

4. Have correct ownership recorded up to date (Ownership must be in the nationality of the country for which the horse is competing).