If you own a horse or pony, you should have them microchipped, as this is likely to be the least painful method of permanent identification.

Microchipping your horse
Following the introduction of compulsory passports for all horses in 2005, new European Union (EU) regulations, which came into effect on 1st July 2009, mean that all foals born must now be microchipped before an owner can apply for an equine passport.

A microchip is a small implant, about the size of a grain of rice, which contains a unique serial code. It is inserted, via an injection, into the ligament on the left side of the horse’s neck.

This quick and easy procedure must only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.

The horse owner’s details and a unique serial code are stored on a computerised database, which links the owner to the horse – it can be read easily by an electronic microchip reader. It is therefore important that the owner’s details on the database are kept up to date.

We offer microchipping as a routine procedure – our vets can do this on your yard, or here at our equine clinic in Goosnargh.

All horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and zebras must have an equine passport, even if they never leave their field.

Horses must be accompanied by their passport at all times. The exceptions are when the horse is stabled, out at pasture or if the horse is moved on foot. However, the passport must be made available within three hours of it being requested by an enforcement agency.

The passport must always accompany the horse:
– when the horse is moved into or out of the United Kingdom
– when the horse is used at a competition
– when the horse is moved to new premises
– when the horse is presented at a slaughterhouse for slaughter
– at the time a horse is sold
– when the horse is used for breeding purposes
– when a veterinary surgeon attends the horse to administer vaccinations or if the horse requires medication
– when the horse is transported. Note: the only exception when the passport is not required is when the horse is being transported for emergency veterinary treatment.

In addition, passport details, such as the Unique Equine Life Number, are often required by insurance companies when insuring your horse.

Under the legislation, foals must have a passport and microchip within six months of birth or before 31 December of the year in which they were born, whichever date occurs later.