On October 1st 2018 a new law came into effect regarding the identification of equines. For the purposes of this article the term equine covers horses, ponies, donkeys, mules or related animals including zoo species such as zebra’s.
Every equine should have a passport. A passport is a bound document made up of several sections. It includes an identification silhouette (completed by a veterinary surgeon) along with basic details such as name, description, breeder, date of birth and parentage (if known). Other sections record current and previous owners, vaccinations and veterinary treatments.
Each equine passport is allocated a unique number and (if it has a microchip) the microchip number. The prime purpose of the equine passport is to make sure any equine treated with medication not intended for use on food producing animals cannot enter the food chain.
Defra’s new equine identification regulations require every equine to be microchipped and have a valid UK passport. Any equine born after 30th June 2009 should already be microchipped. Owners of equines born before this date have until 30th September 2020 to make sure their equines are microchipped.
Many donkeys with passports issued prior to 1st July 2009 are not microchipped because it wasn’t a mandatory requirement at that time. The new legislation passed through Parliament in August requires all equines to be microchipped retrospectively and for the microchip reading to be added to their passport document and the passport issuer to be informed so the Central Equine Database can be updated.
If you own an equine with no microchip number recorded on their passport please ask your vet to scan for a microchip next time they visit and insert a new microchip if one isn’t found. Then inform your PIO of the confirmed microchip reading to ensure records are kept up to date.
The Donkey Breed Society is a registered passport issuing organisation (PIO) recognised by the government. We can issue passports for any equine not just donkeys. For further details please see our web site Donkey Breed Society Passport issuing information
Government advice on getting and using a horse passport When you need an equine passport