FAQ Microchipping Horses

Do all horses need an equine passport?

Do all horses need an equine passport?

Yes, under legislation introduced across the UK, all equines require a valid passport. From 1st July 2009, the passport must be linked to the animal by a uniquely-coded idenfication microchip.

  • The regulations apply to all equines (including horses, ponies, donkeys and other equidae).
  • Foals must be microchipped before 6 months of age or by 31st December in the year it is born, whichever is later.
  • Only veterinary surgeons can implant a microchip into an equine.
  • When a horse passes away, the owner must send the passport back to the issuer to be recorded within 30 days. The passport will be returned to the owner once the process is completed.
  • The owner or keeper with primary responsibility must produce the passport without delay in the event of an inspection, unless the horse is stabled or at pasture or being moved on foot when the passport can be made available within 3 hours. If the owner is not able to produce the passport during a veterinary visit, the vet will not be able to administer certain drugs and may need to use an alternative, often more expensive, product.

Can I microchip my own horses?
No, the microchip is inserted into the nuchal crest on the left side of the neck and therefore needs to be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

Can I have one passport for all my equines?
A passport is needed for each animal and lasts the animal’s lifetime.

Why choose Trovan microchips?
Trovan microchips have a unique level of reliability (thats why so many zoos with long-lived animals choose them), their chips can be read an unlimited number of times (unlike many others which are guaranteed 10 years or for so many reads).

What happens if my equine does not have a microchip or Horse Passport?
It is illegal to own an equine (horses, ponies, donkeys mules, asses and even zebras) without having a passport. Non-compliance may result in a fine of up to £5000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 3 months.

My horse lives at livery, should I keep the passport at my house?
It must be with the animal at all times, eg if you keep your animal in a livery stable the passport must be kept at the stable. You need to show it:

  • On demand from a local authority enforcement officer, like a Trading Standards inspector
  • When you sell or give the animal to someone else
  • When a vet examines or treats your animal

Can I register my horse on a database? Is there a specific one I should use?
For many years owners registered their details onto the National Equine Database Ltd. In 2012 this database ceased operations. However, Petlog are able to register equine and keeper details and we recommend horse owners seek to register with them. There are currently plans to re-introduce a National Equine Database, and many PIOs also run a database alongside issuing equine passports.

Do you sell a scanner that is suitable for scanning horses or sheep?
We offer various scanners that are good for reading a microchip implanted in a horse – try the PetScan, its a nice small head. The sound can be turned off to avoid surpising the horse. The PetScan will read the UK standard ISO chips, and a couple of other types. More professional (and more expensive) scanners can extend the read range and add some of the occassionally seen foreign microchips. By all means email us or phone to discuss scanner needs.

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