Everything You Need to Know About Horse Passports

Passports are as important to horses as they are to us because they are more than just a document which allows us to travel abroad.

A horse passport provides lots of very important information about your animal which is vital for attending competitions, be it abroad or not.

So, to make sure you have all your documents at the ready, here’s everything you need to know about horse passports.

Whats it for?

Essentially, a horse passport is a small booklet which identifies your animal by its height and its species.

A passport is required for all horses, donkeys and related species which includes zoo animals such as zebras.

It also states whether your horse can be used as food when its life comes to an end. There is an appropriate section in the passport which you must fill out to state whether you give your consent or not. If you don’t fill in this section, it is assumed that you are happy for your horse to become food and this can’t be changed later!

Since the 2009 Horse Passports Regulations, all must also contain the microchip number of the horse it relates to.

Unlike a human passport, which must be renewed every ten years, a horse passport lasts for life. It is expected that the passport is with your horse at all times, so keeping it in its stables is often your best bet.

When its Required

You must have a foal microchipped and apply for a passport before it is six months old, or by December 31st of the year it was born.

Generally, there are three situations when you will need to present your horse’s passport:
–   When you sell or give the animal to someone else

  • When a vet observes or treats your horse
  • On demand from a local enforcement officer such as a trading standards agent

***Reminder that if you are unable to present a valid horse passport when required, you could face a fine of up to £5000***

FEI Passports

The FEI (Fédération Équestre Internationale) is the international governing body of equestrian sports. In order for your horse to compete in international level events and competitions, it must be registered with the FEI and have an FEI Recognition Card.

In the UK, the BEF (British Equestrian Federation) is in charge of issuing the Recognition Cards.

This card should then be kept with your animal’s passport so that both can be shown together upon request.

You can find more information about passports and the FEI by heading over to the BEF website here.

Applying for a Passport

Horse passports can only be applied for by the owner of the horse themselves, and there are a number of government-approved organisations that can legally issue a passport to your horse, including the BEF.

Do bear in mind that there are different rules for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and you can find the full list of horse passport issuing organisations on the gov.uk site.

You May Also Like