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As from 1st July 2009 it is an offence for a keeper with 'primary care responsibilities ' eg. full livery yards, person caring for horse under loan agreement, breeders, trainers, transporters, to keep a horse that has not been issued with a passport. It is now a requirement that horses are microchipped before a passport is issued. If your horse already has a passport then you do not need to get a microchip if you don't want to. You could be fined up to £5000 if you don’t have one. Only the owner of a horse can apply for a passport.
All foals need to be microchipped by a qualified veterinary surgeon to get a passport. This must be done before the foal is 6 months old or by 31st December in the year it is born, whichever is later. However, you need to have your foal microchipped and get a passport if you want to sell or move it without its dam earlier. Please note that some breed societies issue their own microchips and these need to be organised together with the appropriate passport application form before booking the vet to come.
You will need to get your horse microchipped as part of the passport application process. The vet will scan your horse for a microchip before implanting a new one.
The Horse Passport Regulations 2009 legislation states that all horses should have a horse passport linked to the animal by a uniquely-coded idenfication microchip.
Horse passports are small booklets that contain details about your horse, including:
Horse passports are important because they help to:
If you don’t have a valid horse passport:
When you sell a horse, you must hand over the passport to the new owner. They should let the ‘Passport Issuing Organisation’ (PIO) know that they have taken ownership of the horse within 30 days.
You must not buy or sell a horse without a horse passport. Contact your local Trading Standards office if you are sold a horse without a passport - they may prosecute the seller.
We use the same microchips in horses as we do in dogs and cats. It is inserted into the crest of the Left side of the neck and provides your horse with a unique number correlating to it's passport and to the petlog database should your horse ever go missing.
Even when not legally required microchipping can be hugely beneficial if your horse is lost or stolen.