New DEFRA microchipping regulations

We have been informed that a new law requiring all horses to be microchipped has been introduced to prevent abuse and improve welfare.

From 1 October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys. Previously, only equines born after 2009 required a microchip, but the new requirement in the 2018 Regulations for older equines to possess a microchip will be enforced from 1 October 2020.

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Older equines that are not already microchipped must have a chip inserted by 1 October 2020. This period of grace will give owners of older equines time to adapt as well as minimise the cost by coinciding the insertion of a microchip with a routine visit from a veterinary surgeon. Microchips must only be inserted by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

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 up to £200.

If anyone has an older equine microchipped that already has one of our passports, please send the passport to us, with the microchip sticker and verification from the vet, and we will sign and stamp it and update our database accordingly. It is important that you inform us as soon as possible, as we have to upload all information to the Central Equine Database.

Another update to the regulations is the time allowed for passporting new foals. An owner must ensure that an application for a passport for an equine is received either before the foal is 6 months old, or before November 30 th in the year it is born, whichever is the later. This has changed from December 31st.