The introduction of Horse Passports will bring the UK in line with laws across the whole of the European Union. The object of the legislation is to ensure that horses, which have been treated with veterinary medicines not authorised for use in food-producing animals cannot be slaughtered for human consumption. If the UK did not comply, we ran the risk of losing 70% of horse medicines. The UK Veterinary authorities have stressed the importance of this measure for horse welfare in the UK.
The Government and the horse industry believe that other benefits will be realised if all horses have a passport. For example, by discouraging the indiscriminate breeding of horses and ponies that may be of low quality or value. Further benefits will be realised from the proposed National Equine Database (NED) that will record details of every horse issued with a passport in the UK. This will improve the ability to monitor disease and prevent outbreaks because information about the numbers of horses and contact details for owners will be available. It is envisaged that the NED will provide the equine industry with information for enhanced breeding programmes and research.
The legislation will be enforced by The Food Standards Agency at slaughterhouses and by Local Authorities (e.g. Trading Standards) elsewhere.
English Legislation (Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2004)
This legislation requires all owners to obtain passports for each horse, pony, donkey and other equidae they own by 28 February 2005. After this date it is an offence to sell, buy, export, slaughter for human consumption, use for the purposes of competition or breeding a horse which does not have a passport.
The DEFRA website will give you further information about the legislation
Welsh Legislation (Horse Passports (Wales) Regulations 2005)
This legislation requires all owners to obtain passports for each horse, pony, donkey and other equidae they own by 28 February 2005. After this date a horse must be accompanied by its passport when: -
It is moved into or out of Great Britain
It is moved to other premises for competition purposes
It is moved to the premises of a new keeper
It is moved to a slaughter house for slaughter
It is moved for the purpose of sale
It is moved to a new premise for breeding purposes.
For further information visit the Welsh Assembly Government
Scottish Legislation (Horse Passports (Scotland) Regulations 2005)
Scottish Horse Passport regulations were signed in April 2005. They came into force on the 16th May 2005. Horse owners in Scotland have until the end of August to obtain a passport. After this date no person shall move a horse-
for the purposes of competition or breeding
out of Scotland
on to the premises of a new keeper
for the purpose of receiving veterinary treatment
unless the horse is accompanied by its passport
Northern Ireland (Horse Passports Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004)
This legislation requires all owners to obtain passports for each horse, pony, donkey and other equidae they own by 28 February 2005. After 28th February 2005 a person shall not, in relation to a horse for which a passport should have been issued -
use such a horse for the purposes of competition or breeding;
move such a horse out of Northern Ireland; or
move such a horse on to the premises of a new keeper,
unless the horse is accompanied by its passport.
The BHS As A PIO
The BHS is one of over 70 Passport Issuing Organisations. We aim to provide this service to owners of equines of unknown origin, that are not eligible to be registered with a recognised breed society . If you would like to apply through the BHS please send a SAE to The Passport Department, The British Horse Society, Stoneligh Deer Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ. The BHS ensures every effort will be made to return your Equine Passport as soon as possible, application turnaround time is approximately two weeks.
Human Consumption Declaration
In England and Northern Ireland horse owners do not need to sign the human consumption declaration (Section IX) on the BHS application form or passport. This does need to be signed before:-
any veterinary medicinal product containing a substance listed in Annes IV is administered to a horse and the declaration must indicate that the horse is not intended for human consumption
a horse is consigned for slaughter for human consumtion
a horse leaves the UK
In Wales the declaration must be made on reciept of the passport