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Getting a horse passport
You need a horse passport so your horse can be identified. Find out the steps you need to take to get a passport from an authorised organisation. Learn why it's important to record any medication your horse may be given.
How to get a horse passport
The process for getting a horse passport is set out below.
To find out what why you need a horse passport, see ‘Horse passports – why you need them and what they contain’.
1. Contact an authorised Passport Issuing Organisation
You can get an application form for a horse passport from an authorised ‘Passport Issuing Organisation’ (PIO). The passport won’t be valid if it’s issued by an unauthorised organisation. You'll need to complete a passport application for each horse you own.
Most PIOs are recognised breed societies and may only issue passports for a particular breed of horse. See the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website for a list of approved PIOs and their contact details.
You'll need to complete a passport application for each horse you own.
2. Completing the application – describing your horse
As part of your passport application, your horse will need to be micro-chipped by a vet. Depending on the organisation that issues the passport, you may also need to have a silhouette completed.
You will need to get a vet, who is experienced in working with horses, to visit your horse and complete and sign the silhouette. There will be a fee for this. You can search for a horse vet on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.
3. The PIO issues the passport
You’ll receive your horse’s passport in the post. This normally takes five to 15 working days, although this can vary depending on the PIO. Once issued, the passport is valid for your horse’s lifetime.
Your horse will also get a ‘Unique Equine Life Number’ and its details will be added to the National Equine Database (NED). The NED holds details of the number and types of horses in the UK. You can search the NED for your horse’s details by following the link below.
See ‘Updating a horse passport and cancelling duplicates’ for information on how to update your horse’s passport or replacing a lost passport.
Completing ‘Section IX’ of the passport - ‘for human consumption’
Horses can be declared as 'intended' or 'not intended' for the food chain in Section IX of its passport. If certain medicines are given to your horse then you may be required to sign your horse out of the food chain.
Once you or your vet declare your horse is ‘not intended for human consumption’, it can never be changed, so think carefully before doing this. The PIO and/or your vet should be able to give you advice.
Medicines that have to be recorded in the passport
If you declare your horse is ‘intended for human consumption’, your vet will keep a record of all the medication it is given. Your vet will always check the declaration before treating it with certain medicines, like Bute, which are not authorised for food producing animals. If your horse is treated with these medicines, the declaration in the passport must be changed to ‘not intended’.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate website gives a list of which medicines need to be recorded in your horse’s passport.
You need to have the passport with you when your horse is being treated. If you don't, and your vet isn't aware of its declaration status, the vet may be restricted on the range of medicines they can use.