Now compulsory

Following the introduction of compulsory passports for all horses, all foals born must now be microchipped before an owner can apply for an equine passport.

A microchip is a small implant, about the size of a grain of rice, which contains a unique serial code. It is inserted, via an injection, into the ligament on the left side of the horse’s neck. Any pain associated with microchipping is very brief and once inserted the microchip provides a means of permanent identification. It is a quick and easy procedure that must only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.

The horse owner’s details and a unique serial code are stored on a computerised database, which links the owner to the horse – it can be read easily by an electronic microchip reader. It is therefore important that the owner’s details on the database are kept up to date.

The National Equine Database contains information about every equine born or resident in the UK with a UK passport. It is managed by Equine Register on behalf of The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

You, the owner, are responsible for checking that all the details in the passport are up to date, you should enter the microchip number in the CED Chipchecker to confirm it is linked to your passport.  If any of the identity data is incorrect or has changed you must notify the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO), you must not amend or add to the passport yourself.

CED chipchecker
Background image - iStock-466613194a

How can I check?

Check if your horse is microchipped by:

• looking at its passport
• asking a vet to scan your horse for a microchip

If your horse does not have a microchip, you must:

• get a vet to microchip it
• update the passport

In England, you can be fined if your horse is not microchipped.

We offer microchipping as a routine procedure which can be done on zone visits at a reduced call out fee.