Passports and Microchipping Services
Since 2004 all horse, ponies and donkeys are required by law to have a passport. This must be done within 6 months of birth or by 31st December on the year the foal was born. There are many different Passport Issuing Authorities, including breed specific ones such as Weatherby’s. We are happy to use your own paperwork or can provide applications from Pet ID and Horse Passport Agency. All new passports must contain a silhouette, either drawn by or verified by a veterinary surgeon, and a microchip must be implanted. If you lose your passport, you should contact your Passport Issuing Authority and they will send you the paperwork required for us to help you complete a new one.
Advice from DEFRA:
Use your horse passport:
You must keep a valid horse passport with your animal at all times. This includes at their stable or when you move them.
You need to provide your horse’s passport:
- when a vet examines or treats your animal – the medication your animal can get depends on how it’s categorised on its passport
- if an animal health inspector, trading standards inspector or other enforcement officer asks to see it
- when you sell or give the animal to someone else
You could get an unlimited fine if you can’t show a valid horse passport for an animal in your care.
If you buy a horse:
Contact the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) within 30 days to update the passport ownership details.
If the seller doesn’t give you the horse’s passport, contact your local trading standards office for advice.
When your horse dies
Within 30 days of the horse’s death, return its passport to the PIO that issued it. They will update their records and invalidate or destroy the passport.
If the passport has been invalidated you may be able to get it sent back to you. Ask the PIO if this is possible.
Many horses are already microchipped as it has been compulsory for some time for them to be done when a new passport is issued. The law changed in October 2018 and now states all owned equines must be microchipped. Owners have until October 2020 to comply with the new law. We are able to insert microchips at routine visits if booked in advance.
Only veterinary surgeons are allowed to implant microchips into horses.
- Usually a head collar is sufficient restraint, but occasionally a bridle or twitch may be required.
- They are checked for the presence of an existing chip (even if you know they don’t have one) as it is offence to insert a second one unless the primary one is faulty.
- A needle is inserted into the left hand side of the neck, midway down and the chip implanted.
- Once completed, we will scan again with the microchip scanner to ensure the chip was placed.
- Normally we will require you to complete an information form to enable us to register the chip to you – please have the owner’s details available if they will not be present.
Advice from DEFRA:
From October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys. The new Central Equine Database will then allow local authorities and police to track down the owners of dumped horses and make sure they are punished and the animals are given the care they deserve. It will also mean lost or stolen horses will be reunited with their owners more easily.