On the 25th June 2018 the Government introduced new legislation in relation to equine microchipping, to help prevent abuse and improve horse welfare.
What is the new legislation and why has it been introduced?
The new legislation, which comes into effect from October 2020, will require all horses, ponies and donkeys to be microchipped.
The number of horses being fly-tipped or left in horrific conditions is at a startling high with almost 1,000 horses being rescued by the RSPCA in 2017. With no way of tracking the owners it is incredibly difficult to prosecute and ensure more animals aren’t suffering at the hands of irresponsible owners.
With the aid of a new Central Equine Database local authorities and police will be able to track down owners of horses that have been dumped or whose welfare needs are not being met. It will also aid in cases of lost or stolen horses allowing them to be reunited with their owners more easily.
Up until now only horses born after 1st July 2009 were required to be microchipped meaning a large number of middle aged or older horses are not microchipped.
How will it affect me?
If your horse was born after 1st July 2009 it should have a passport and microchip, in which case you don’t need to do anything. The microchip number is usually clearly marked in the passport (sometimes called Transponder Code). If you are at all unsure or would like to check your horses microchip number please ask us to scan your horse next time we see you- this is very quick, easy and painless.
If your horse was born before 1st July 2009 it may or may not already have a microchip. Horses competing at certain affiliated and international competitions are required to be microchipped regardless of their age. If there is no reference to a microchip number or transponder code in your horse’s passport please let us know and we will be more than happy to check for you. Horses without a microchip will require one to be inserted before October 2020. This is a very routine and quick procedure and currently costs £30 (price at 1st July 2018)
If you are breeding or buying a young foal the current legislation requires it to have a passport and microchip before it is 6 months old or before 31st December of the year it was born, whichever is sooner. i.e. if born in April 2018 the foal will need doing before it is 6 months old (October 2018), if born in July 2018 it will need doing before 31st December 2018.
If horse owners do not microchip their horses by October 2020 they could face sanctions from their local authority including a compliance notice and as a last resort a fine of £200.
If you require any further information or would like us to check if your horse needs microchipping please don’t hesitate to contact us.