Equine Passports Overview
EU and UK legislation requires every equine to have a passport, even if it never leaves the field.
The Suffolk Horse Society is a passport issuing organisation (PIO) recognised by DEFRA. It issues equine passports, compliant with EC 504/2008 and with the Horse Passport (England) Regulations 2009, for horses eligible for registration in the Suffolk Stud book. The Society does not issue passports for horses that are not eligible for registration in its stud book. Owners requiring a passport for a horse other than a Suffolk are recommended to check the DEFRA website where a full list of equine passport issuers can be found.
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OWNERS
A horse’s passport must be kept with it. It is illegal to travel a horse without its passport unless it is being transported for emergency veterinary treatment. The passport may be requested at any time by enforcement agencies and must be produced within three hours of it being requested. Local Authorities (Trading Standards departments) are responsible for enforcing the law. The Meat Hygiene Service is responsible for enforcing the checks carried out at slaughterhouses.
Foals must have a microchip and passport by the 31st December in the year of birth or within six months of birth, whichever is the longer. If the foal is to be moved before then it must have a microchip and passport, except where it is being moved with its dam.
It is an offence to own or keep a horse without a passport, therefore it is an offence to sell or purchase a horse without a passport.
It is an offence to fail to notify the PIO of the change of ownership, this should be done within 30 days of purchase or change of ownership.
When a horse dies the passport must be returned to the issuing PIO for cancellation within 30 days of the death. Slaughterhouses will return passports directly to the issuing PIO.
Passports issued by the Society remain the property of the Society. Owners or keepers are responsible for returning passports for changes to be recorded.
No animal may have more than one passport.
If the passport is lost, a duplicate may be requested. On receipt of a fee and following checks, a duplicate passport may be issued and will be marked as such. In duplicate passports part II of Section IX , to permanently exclude the horse from the human food chain, will be signed.
Passports may still be acquired for horses older than the passport deadline, provided there is no existing passport for the animal. Before a late passport is issued part II of Section IX to permanently exclude the horse from the human food chain will be signed.
Equine Passports issued prior to The Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2009 may not include a Section IX so may not be legally valid. Any horse owner holding a passport issued by the Suffolk Horse Society that does notcontain Section IX should return the passport for updating.
For an overview from the government on Getting and Using a Horse Passport (last updated 12 November 2014) visit www.gov.uk/horse-passport/overview
The Suffolk Horse Society strives for a high standard in its responsibilities as a passport provider but there may be occasions when something goes wrong. When that happens, we would encourage you to tell us about your comments or complaints so we can put things right. Complaints may be made verbally in the first instance by telephoning the Society’s office but should be followed up in writing, either by letter or e-mail. Your name and contact details must be included.