Horse Passports & Studbooks

Horse Passports/Identification Documents

All horses, ponies and donkeys with very few exceptions, must have a passport whether they travel or not. The purpose of a Horse Passport/Identification Document is mainly to ensure that horses, containing substances not permitted in food producing animals, are kept out of the food chain. Passports also help to properly identify a horse, giving information about how to contact the owner and manage horse movements in the event of a disease outbreak.

A horse passport lasts for the lifetime of the horse and will be issued by one of two types of passport issuing organisations (PIOs) approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The two types are Studbook PIOs, which issue passports for registered horses with a proven pedigree, and ID Only PIOs which issue passports for all other types of horse.

Since 2009, all passports have been issued to horses with a microchip implanted. In line with legislation from DEFRA,  all horses, irrelevant of age, need to be microchipped from October 2020. This law came into effect in June 2018 to help tackle abuse and improve animal welfare. If horse owners do not microchip their horses by October 2020 they could face sanctions from their local authority including a compliance notice and, as a last resort, a fine of up to £200.

Microchipping can be combined with a routine visit to, or from, a vet with the procedure costing £25-30.

> For a list of PIOs see Defra's wesite: www.gov.uk/horse-passport/overview

You could be fined up to £5000 if you don't have a valid passport for your horse

All horse passport information will be held on the Central Equine Database from 2018 

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