Defra’s new equine identification regulations which came into force on Monday 1 October 2018, legally requires every horse, pony and donkey to be microchipped and also possess a valid UK passport, with details stored in the Central Equine Database (CED).
All horses born after 30 June 2009 are already required to be microchipped. Owners of horses born before this date will have two years from 1 October 2018 to get their equines microchipped, and from October 2020 it will be compulsory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys.
The Central Equine Database allows local authorities and police to track down the owners of lost or stolen horses and will ensure they are reunited with their owners a little easier. It will also ensure the owners of dumped horses, ponies and donkeys can be tracked down by police or local authorities, offering a practical solution to pressing animal welfare issues who can ensure the correct punishment is given to the owners, but also ensure the horse, pony or donkey are given the care they deserve.
Any changes in a horse’s ownership or status — for example, if they are put down, lost, stolen or signed out of the food chain — will need to be notified to the passport issuing organisation. The organisation will then have 24 hours to update the CED.
Before microchipping your horse, a veterinary surgeon from Eastcott Veterinary clinic and hospital will check that a chip is not already in place. Before inserting a chip, a Eastcott Veterinary clinic and hospital vet will ensure that the chip to be implanted is working and reads the correct microchip number. The microchip is also accompanied by six self-adhesive bar codes which can be attached to a passport application and other associated paperwork. The bar code or microchip number should also be retained by both the veterinary surgeon and horse owner for reference.
The implantation takes place on the left side of the neck, at the mid crest. A patch of hair will be removed, and the area disinfected, and a local anaesthetic may be injected. The microchip is then inserted using a wide bore needle and the microchip is scanned to ensure correct placement. In some instances, bleeding may occur from the injection site, and very rarely swelling may develop at the insertion point. In most cases, this can be treated by draining any fluid that develops and with antibiotics.
If you would like any more information, please contact a member of our team at Eastcott Veterinary clinic and hospital.