New laws surrounding equine identification have come into force in England (1 October).
Defra’s new equine identification regulations legally require every horse, pony and donkey to be microchipped and possess a valid UK passport, with details stored in the Central Equine Database (CED).
The idea is that this will help when it comes to boosting equine health and welfare since any change in the horse’s status must be registered with the CED.
British Horse Council chairman Jeanette Allen, said,
“Having all up-to-date data recorded on the CED will help us better protect our equine population in the event of a disease outbreak, as well as providing essential tools to help owners find their horses in the event of theft or straying.
“It should also give owners confidence that horses which have previously been signed out of the human food chain never end up in the abattoir.”
However, the success of the whole scheme will depend on horse owners playing their part and not only having their horses chipped but also updating changes in a horse’s ownership or status — for example, if they are put down, lost or stolen.
All horses born after 30 June 2009 are already required to be microchipped. Owners of horses born before this date will have two years from today to get their equines microchipped.