The purpose of an equine passport/identification document is to ensure that equines containing substances not permitted in food producing animals, such as Phenylbutazone (bute), are kept out of the food chain. Passports also help to identify an equine, and provide information about how to contact the owner and manage equine movements in the event of a disease outbreak.
You should apply for an equine passport within six months of birth, or by 31 December on the year of the foal’s birth, whichever is later.
An equine passport may be issued by two types of Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO)...
A list of PIOs can found on Defra’s website.
CED was established to create a more robust and enforceable equine identification (equine passport) system after EU member states endorsed proposals for stronger regulations. The CED holds over 1.2 million equine records from the 81 UK PIOs. All information updated by the BEF during a passport update is transferred automatically to CED.
All horses, ponies and donkeys, with very few exceptions, must have a passport regardless of whether they travel or not. This is stated in the following regulations:
An equine passport lasts for the lifetime of the equine and will be issued by PIOs approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
An equine passport must remain with the equine at all times. This includes:
Legislation states that if you’re the owner or keeper with the primary responsibility for the care of an equine, you have a legal duty to ensure that the equine is correctly identified. A passport must be made available within 3 hours of request.
If an equine’s passport doesn’t have a food chain status section bound within the document, you’re required to contact the original PIO, or another officially approved PIO in the UK, to have one inserted and rebound into the document. If you contact a PIO that isn’t your original PIO, they may not be able to insert one for you. If that isn’t possible, the PIO must issue a duplicate or replacement passport in accordance with Article 29 or 32 of the 2016 EU Regulation. In either instance, the equine will be signed out of the food chain.
It is an offence to destroy or deface the passport in any way, alter any details in the passport or be in possession of what knowing it is forged. All updates regarding the owner of the equine must be made by a PIO.
Only the original PIO will hold the silhouette drawing so they will need to handle any changes to this.
If you lose an equine passport from a UK PIO, it’s important to contact the original PIO to obtain a duplicate passport.
If you lose an equine passport from another EU country and it’s a pedigree, you can request a duplicate passport from an EU PIO. Where the passport is lost and the existing identity cannot be established by a microchip or a properly completed outline diagram, then a replacement passport must be issued by a UK PIO.
If a passport is subsequently found, you must send it back to the PIO that issued it so that it can be destroyed. If that PIO no longer exists, you should return it to the nominated successor PIO. Please see the Defra website.
You should notify the original PIO within 30 days of your equine’s death, and the passport should be returned with a covering letter. The passport can be returned to you once it has been invalidated.
If you have any queries, please contact the office on 02476 698 871
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