Equine-ID-letterbox

Making the horse passport system work for horses and their keepers

Take our survey to have your say on how the equine identification system could be improved.

Take our survey to have your say on how the equine identification system could be improved.

The current equine identification (horse passport) system is not fit for purpose, with data on the Central Equine Database (UKCED) – which should contain up-to-date information on all equines resident in the UK, linked to each individual horse’s microchip – inaccurate and incomplete. This data is critical to the effective enforcement of many aspects of animal health and welfare regulations, not least being able to trace a horse suffering from poor welfare back to the person responsible for them. 

On the 5th of April 2022, Defra launched a consultation to seek the public’s views on the UK Government’s proposals for improving equine identification and traceability in England. We would urge anyone with an interest in, and the technical understanding of, the current equine identification system to respond to this consultation.  

However, we recognise that Government consultations are often not accessible to the general public and that Defra’s consultation only covers England, excluding the rest of the UK. Therefore, working with The British Horse Council, we have helped develop a simpler survey that anyone living in the UK can respond to.  

Together we need to act to show our governments that we want a horse passport system that is cost-effective, simple, enforceable and enforced. Those who took our survey have helped to ensure that we have the strong evidence needed to demonstrate what changes to the law are supported by those who care for horses in the UK. 

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to the survey. We’ve had over 3,500 responses, which are currently being analysed, and will provide an update as soon as details of any results are available.

Read more

  • Read and respond to the Defra consultation here.
  • Find out more about our position on Equine ID and traceability here.

Donate to help smuggled horses

Help these frightened horses who were rescued from being illegally smuggled out of Britain to an unknown fate.

Get our latest news and rescue stories
Join over 40,000 other horse lovers
Follow our story on social networks