Microchip laws now in force in England

Thursday, 01 October 2020

From today (1 October), local authorities can now place civil sanctions on the owners of horses, ponies and donkeys in England who have not microchipped and passported their animals. This could include fixed penalty notices.

The legal requirement for all equines to be microchipped came into effect in June 2018 to help tackle abuse and improve animal welfare. All equines must how have a valid passport and microchip, including those born before 30 June 2009.

In addition to have their horses passported and microchipped, owners must check that their horse’s details are correct on Defra’s Central Equine Database (CED), using the ChipChecker tool. If your horse’s details are incorrect, you should notify your passport issuing organisation (PIO).

Similar deadlines for microchipping will apply in Wales (12 February) and Scotland (28 March) from next year. The timelines for your horse to be microchipped varies slightly according to the location of the PIO to which he’s registered. For example, the owner of a Highland pony who’s residing in England but passported with the Highland Pony Society in Scotland would be subject to the microchip deadline for Scotland.  

Useful links

British Equestrian's guide to microchips

World Horse Welfare's advice on new equine ID regulations