All horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals (including zoo species like zebras) must have a horse passport.
The passport is a small booklet that identifies your animal by its height and species.
It also states whether your animal can be used for food at the end of its life. You can declare that your animal isn’t intended for human consumption yourself by filling in the appropriate section of the passport. This can’t be changed later.
If you don’t make the declaration in the passport, it’s assumed the animal is intended for human consumption at the end of its life.
All horse passports issued since 1 July 2009 must contain a microchip number.
A passport is needed for each animal and lasts the animal’s lifetime.
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
You could get a fine of up to £5000 if you can’t show a valid horse passport for an animal in your care.
Contact your local Trading Standards office if you suspect someone is keeping an animal without a passport.