Passports and Microchipping


The benefits of having a horse or pony microchipped are all too clear.  

  • This simple procedure ensures your horse is easily identifiable, reducing the risk of it becoming lost or stolen.
  • Each microchip has an individual number which is registered to the horse and the owner.
  • To apply for a passport your horse must now be microchipped.

Checking for an existing microchip

If your horse is already microchipped there should be a copy of the microchip barcode on the identification page of your horse's passport. 

Look for a barcode similar to the one on the sample to the left (red arrow).

Most passports have a specific area on the picture page what will say "microchip" and the barcode should be located in this section.



If your horse was microchipped at the time the passport was issued then the microchip number should be printed with the other information on the breeding page as well as on the information page.








What is involved with having my horse microchipped

Microchipping your horse is a simple procedure:

  • Your passport is checked to make sure your horse has not been microchipped before, but we will also scan the horse to look for any existing microchip.
  • If an existing chip is found we will check it corresponds to the number in your passport.
  • The small microchip is injected into the left side of the neck much the same as a normal injection.
  • The microchip is scanned to confirm that it is fully functional.
  • The microchip number is entered into your passport or the passport application, and a form is sent off to register the microchip to your horse, and to you.


As from 1st July 2009 it is an offence for a keeper with 'primary care responsibilities ' e.g. full livery yards, person caring for horse under loan agreement, breeders, trainers, transporters, to keep a horse that has not been issued with a passport.

Passports for foals

All foals need to be microchipped by a qualified Veterinary Surgeon to get a passport. This must be done either before the foal is 6 months old or by 31st December of the year of birth, whichever is later. If you want to sell or move the foal without the dam you must get it microchipped and obtain a passport. Please note that some breed societies issue their own microchips and these need to be organised together with the appropriate passport application form before booking the Vet to come. 

Passports for older horses

You will need to get your horse microchipped as part of the passport application process if it has not been done previously. The vet will scan your horse for an existing microchip before implanting a new one. The Horse Passport Regulations 2009 legislation states that all horses should have a horse passport linked to the animal by a uniquely-coded identification microchip. The regulations apply to all horses (including ponies, donkeys and other equines).

Presenting your horse's passport

The owner or keeper with primary responsibility must be able to produce the passport without delay in the event of an inspection, unless the horse is stabled, at pasture or being moved on foot, when the passport should be made available within 3 hours. If the owner is not able to produce the passport during a veterinary visit, the Vet may not be able to administer certain drugs and may need to use an alternative and often more expensive product. 

Upon death

When a horse dies, the owner must send the passport back to the issuer to be recorded within 30 days. The passport will be returned to the owner once the process is completed. 

Why you need a horse passport

It makes sure that horses who have been treated with certain  prohibited drugs don’t make it into food intended for human consumption. It helps to prevent the sale of stolen horses – when you buy a horse, its passport proves its identity.

If you don’t have a valid horse passport

  • You can’t move your horse
  • Vets are legally restricted in the types of medicines they can give your horse
  • You cannot sell a horse

Selling a horse

When any horse, pony or donkey, the passport must be handed over to the new owner.  The new owner should let the ‘Passport Issuing Organisation’ (PIO) know that they have taken ownership of the horse within 30 days. You must not buy or sell a horse without a horse passport. Contact your local Trading Standards office if you are sold a horse without a passport - they may prosecute the seller. Passport issuing organisations in the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Book an appointment for microchipping/passport application

Please contact the practice to arrange a call out if you are an existing customer or to register as a new customer.

You can register as a new client of our equine practice or make a booking.


Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our services

Email:   Telephone: 01737 246109

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