The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on the 1st October 2018. The regulations followed the introduction of the Central Equine Database (CED) which became operational in March 2018.
The legislation was primarily introduced to protect the human food chain, however, it may have secondary benefits in terms of enabling the identification of the owners of stray, abandoned, fly-grazed or stolen equines.
It is a legal requirement to have a passport (sometimes called an ‘equine passport’) for each horse, pony, donkey or hybrid you keep.
It is a legal requirement that equines must be identified by a microchip
If you purchase a horse, pony, donkey or hybrid you must update ownership with the passport issuing organisation (PIO) within 30 days of purchase
If your animal dies, the passport must be returned to the PIO within 30 days
Central Equine Database
Equine Register are Defra’s partner in delivering and managing the Central Equine Database in England and Wales.
Equine Register has developed a series of bespoke digital tools that enable secure, realtime access to vital equine identification and traceability data. These tools promote compliance and good owner practices, increase horse and pony welfare and value, and help secure the human food-chain and national borders, all whilst reducing criminal activity.
Anyone can put a microchip number into the National ChipChecker -
If the microchip is recorded against the equine, it will provide you with the basic details of that equine and the Passport Issuing Organisation. This can be helpful if you are looking to purchase a horse (to check age and whether it is stolen), it can also be helpful for stray or abandoned equines. While due to data protection legislation you cannot access owner details, you could contact the PIO who will then contact the registered owner. The Local Authorities have access to the owner details for enforcement purposes.
If you are a horse owner you can register with Digital Stable and keep your horse's details up to date, add vaccination details, location and report if missing. Register here equineregister.co.uk/home
Find out more on horse passports here gov.uk/horse-passport