Section A: Introduction
The Equine Animal (Identification) (Scotland) Regulations 2019, which came into force on 28 March 2019 revoke and replace the Horse Identification (Scotland) Regulations 2009. The Regulations further implement European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262. The legislation requires all equines, regardless of age or status, to be accompanied by an identification document (passport/ScotEquine card) and implanted with a microchip. This would include, without exception, equines used for agricultural purposes, riding ponies, pets, companion animals, hacks, competition animals etc. Similar domestic Regulations have been introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Following birth, horses must be identified by both a passport and with a microchip inserted into the nuchal ligament.
With effect from 28 March 2021, it will be mandatory for all horses not currently identified by means of a microchip to be identified by the insertion of a microchip as well as a passport.
Horse passports are a human health measure to ensure that horse meat and products do not enter the human food chain if they have been treated with certain veterinary medicines. There is a risk to human health if certain substances are consumed.
What this guidance is for
This guidance is designed to assist in understanding the requirements for horse passports and specifically the duties/roles each of the following play in ensuring a horse is correctly identified throughout its lifetime:
- Horse owners/keepers (see Section C)
- Veterinarians (see Section D)
- Local Authorities (see Section E)
It is not an exhaustive guide and has no legal standing. In case of doubt, please refer to European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 and the Equine Animal (Identification) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 or consult your legal adviser.
Breaches of The Equine Animal (Identification) (Scotland) Regulations 2019
Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing the Regulations.
Anyone who suspects a breach of the Regulations should report their concerns to their Local Authority Inspectors and not the Scottish Government.
Fixed penalty notices will be issued if an offence has occurred during the movement or transportation of a horse. In these circumstances, a fine of 40% of Level 1 on the standard scale will apply.
Full information on offences can be found in The Equine Animal (Identification) (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
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