New Equine ID Regulations

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What do horse owners need to know?

From 1st October 2018 the new equine identification regulations make it a legal requirement for all horses in England to be identified, meaning that the animal will have to be microchipped and passported, and will introduce civil sanctions for those who do not comply, such as fixed penalty notices.  Owners will have until October 2020 to get any equine born before 30th June 2009 retrospectively microchipped, if it is not already chipped.

Owners need to log on to the new Chip Checker and input their horse’s microchip number to check the details are all up to date. If the details are incorrect, then they should notify your Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).

  • If their horse is deceased, they must inform their PIO to safeguard against the microchip being re-used fraudulently for a different horse.
  • Anyone who purchases a horse or has one lost, stolen, die or signed out of the food chain must let your PIO know within 30 days and they will have 24 hours in which to update the Central Equine Database.
  • If a horse was born before 30th June 2009 and does not have a microchip, owners have two years in which to ensure they are microchipped.
  • If your horse is imported into the UK then it must be registered with a UK PIO within 30 days of it arriving.
  • If an owners fails to comply with the equine ID regulations, their local authority may serve a non-compliance notice which will give them a set period to comply or depending on the severity of the offence, they may receive a fixed monetary penalty. 

Offences include:

Failing to produce a passport when instructed by a vet or inspector

Possessing a passport but no horse

Possessing a horse with no passport or when the passport is not in your name without an agreement (preferably a written contract) between the owner and the ‘keeper’ (person responsible)

Selling a horse and not handing over the passport

Transporting a horse without a passport

Owning a horse without a microchip (unless born pre 30th June 2009 and it is within the two year transition period).


Click here to download a guide to what horse owners need to know about the new equine ID regulations. 

Click here to download a summary of the benefits to horses and owners of the new regulations.