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Passport Information

Equine Passports

All species of equine are required to have a passport and to be microchipped. This applies to foals within six months of birth or before 30th November of the year in which they were born, whichever date occurs later.  

The passport is a document that serves as a record of:

  • Formal identification

  • Ownership 

  • Vaccinations

  • Infectious disease testing

  • Equine anti-doping and controlled medication testing 

  • Food consumption status (Section IX/II)

You must keep a valid horse passport with your animal at all times.

It is illegal to travel a horse without their passport.

You need to provide your horse’s passport:

  • when a vet examines or treats your animal

  • when you sell or give the animal to someone else

  • if an animal health inspector, trading standards inspector or other enforcement officer asks to see it

  • Additionally, you will require your passport at all equine events


You could get a fine if you cannot show a valid horse passport for an animal in your care.

Passports are the property of the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO)

You MUST return the passport to the PIO for update for the following reasons:

  • Change of ownership

  • Alternations to passport (Castration, microchip update, etc)

  • To exclude the equine from the food chain

  • Death of the equine

  • If the passport is damaged

For passport updates please complete relevant forms found on Form Downloads page & submit relevant fees. 

DEFRA Regulations

You must get the foal microchipped and have a passport before it is 6 months old, or by November 30th of the year it’s born (whichever is later). It is an offence if you do not apply by this deadline. You also will be unable to sell your animal for human food at the end of its working life.

If you buy a horse

Contact the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) within 30 days to update the passport ownership details.

You might need to take additional steps if you import a horse from outside the UK.

When your horse dies

Within 30 days of the horse’s death, return its passport to the PIO that issued it. They will update their records and invalidate or destroy the passport.

If your horse was born before July 2009

Check if your horse is microchipped by:

  • looking at its passport

  • looking at the Digital Stable or the National Chipchecker

  • asking a vet to scan your horse for a microchip

If your horse does not have a microchip, you must:

In England, you can be fined if your horse is not microchipped.

Passport Forms

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