Horse Passports

Information included in a horse passport

Horse passports are small booklets that contain details about your horse, including:

  • its appearance, which is illustrated in diagram called a “silhouette”
  • micro-chip details
  • its age
  • its breed/type
  • all the medications it has been given (if it has been declared “intended for human consumption”)

Why you need a horse passport

You are responsible for making sure you have an up-to-date horse passport so your horse can be identified. You could be fined up to £5000 if you don’t have one.

Horse passports are important because they help to:

  • make sure horses that have been treated with certain medicines don’t make it into food intended for humans
  • prevent the sale of stolen horses – when you buy a horse, its passport proves its identity

If you don’t have a valid horse passport:

  • you can’t move your horse
  • vets may be restricted in the types of medicines they can give your horse
  • you cannot have your horse slaughtered for human consumption

Make sure your horse passport is available for inspection

You may be asked to show your horse’s passport by a trading standards inspector from your local council or Animal Health Officer. This could happen at, for example, a horse market or road-side check.

If you are asked for the passport, but are in the process of applying for one, let the inspector know. If necessary, they will check your application details with the organisation issuing the passport.

Buying and selling a horse

You must not buy or sell a horse without a horse passport. Contact your local Trading Standards office if you are sold a horse without a passport – they may prosecute the seller.

Keeping your horse passport up-to-date

If you or your vet gives your horse bute then the passport must be signed as “not intended for the food chain”.

Defra Helpline on 08459 335577

Email: horse.passports@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Find out more information on Horse Passports on the government website.

Other links:

The Horse Passports Regulations 2009 No.1611

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 504/2008

The Horses (Zootechnical Standards) (England) Regulations 2006

Guide to the Horse Passports Regulations 2009

Last updated Feb 1, 2018

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