Welfare of equidae: code of practice

This guide covers all domesticated equidae for which a person is responsible, including all horses, ponies, donkeys and hybrids and details a set of principles underpinning equine care.

Horse passports

6. The Horse Passports (Scotland) Regulations 2005 require all equidae, regardless of age or status, to be accompanied by a passport. All owners must obtain individual passports for each animal owned. Passports can be held by the owner or keeper. Animals without passports cannot:

  • be moved for the purpose of being entered in a competition
  • be moved for the purpose of being used for breeding
  • be moved out of Scotland
  • be moved to the premises of a new keeper
  • be sold or have ownership transferred
  • be sent to slaughter for human consumption

7. From July 2009 new Regulations are expected to be in force (which implement Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 of 6 June 2008) which will require all animals not currently identified under the current passport requirements to be both microchipped and have a passport. Thus, all foals born after July 2009 must be microchipped by the end of the year of their birth or within six months of birth, whichever is later. In addition, all older animals not identified under the current system will also have to be microchipped.

8. One of the purposes of horse passports is to record all medicines administered to each animal. It is therefore important that the passport is available whenever your veterinary surgeon treats your animal so that they can record the medicines given. Some medications are dangerous to human health if the animal subsequently enters the food chain at the end of its life. If your animal is given one of these medicines, your veterinary surgeon must sign the passport to state that it is not intended for human consumption. This means that the animal can never enter the human food chain and you should think carefully about the implications of this decision.

9. A list of authorised Scottish Passport Issuing Organisations and contact details are set out in Appendix E.

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