EU Member States have reached agreement on a new European Regulation that will revise existing equine identification [Horse Passport] legislation. The main new requirement is the compulsory microchipping of foals born after 1 July 2009.
The requirement will not be retrospective for older horses and the Regulation does allow for Member States to approve alternative methods to the microchip.
Microchips provide an essential link between a horse and its passport and strengthen the existing horse identification requirements. Such unique identification of equidae may also prove useful for disease control and surveillance purposes and for the recovery of lost or stolen horses.
Defra will be consulting fully with the horse industry over the implementation of the new requirements.