01622 813700


The Horse Passport Regulations 2009 state that horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals (including Zebras!) must have a horse passport. You could get an unlimited fine if you cannot show a valid passport for an animal in your care, however, this will not be enforced by your veterinary surgeon

Foals must have a passport (and microchip) but the age of 6 months or 31st December in the year of their birth, whichever is later.

The passport must be kept with your animal at all times. You need to provide your horse's passport when a vet examines or treats your animal (either at your yard or at Bell Equine) and when you sell, or give the animal, to someone else.

If you buy a horse you should contact the passport issuing organisation (PIO) within 30 days. 

When your horse dies, the passport should be returned to the PIO within 30 days.

All horse passports must have a section IX.  This is to confirm whether or not the horse is intended or not intended to enter the human food chain. Some older passports do not have these pages. If this section is not present, you need to go back to the PIO that produced that passport and ask for the section to be included.

If you do not have any passport at all, we can organise for one to be issued. If you have a pure-bred horse and would like a breed society passport (for example the Shetland Pony Society), you can contact the society directly to obtained a passport application form. We can then complete the form and implant a microchip at your convenience for £65 when paid on the day with our usual prompt payment discount, plus any visit fee.

Alternatively we can supply PetId passports (which includes an identifying microchip with a full identification silhouette) for £90 when paid on the day with our usual prompt payment discount, plus any visit fee.

Please call the office on 01622 813700 if you would like more information.

We RECOMMEND that you sign to say that your horse is NOT going for slaughter for human consumption.

This allows administration of certain restricted medications, including phenylbutazone (“bute”, which includes Equipalazone and Danilon) and also other drugs (such as Prascend) without complicated record keeping and restrictions.

If a horse is prescribed any of these restricted medications, then it MUST be signed out of the human food chain. Your vet will be able to advise you further. 

We would ask everyone to have the passport available for the BELL team to check when we visit or if you bring your horse, pony or donkey to the hospital.  For this reason it is best kept by the keeper of the horse at the stable yard, if possible to do so. Many people also keep a copy elsewhere.

Once a horse passport is signed out of the food chain it can never be changed, and provided that passport stays with that horse, then that animal can never be slaughtered for meat. Microchips are now required when a new horse passport is issued, which are used to double-check the identity of the horse against the passport.

If you would like all your horses’ passport information to be recorded, so we have it available in case of emergency, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01622 813700.

There is still an enormous amount of confusion concerning the Passport legislation which came into force in February 2009. Under this legislation:

  • every horse and pony MUST have a passport issued by an approved Passport Issuing Organisation. Vaccination cards are no longer acceptable.
  • All horses applying for new passports must be microchipped; this included foals and older horses that do not already have a passport. Microchips can only be inserted by a vet.
  • Horses may not be sold without a passport and after a sale, the purchaser has 30 days to notify the authority issuing the passport of the change of ownership.
  • Foals must have a passport and microchip by the age of 6months, or by 31st December in the year of their birth.
  • When being transported, horses should have their passports with them at all times (with a few exceptions such as an emergency situation) and at other times, the passport should be available on request within 3 days.
  • This passport MUST contain the declaration concerning whether or not the horse is intended for human consumption. Many older passports do not contain these pages and must be returned to the issuing organisation to have them inserted.
  • If the declaration is signed to say that the horse is not intended for human consumption then that animal can be treated with any medicine necessary and no further authorising paperworks needs to be issued.
  • If the declaration is unsigned OR the horse IS declared as intended for human consumption then there are many medicines that MUST NOT be given to that horse (including ACP and phenylbutazone 'bute'). A horse without a passport must be treated as though it is intended for human consumption.
  • The passport MUST be made available to the vet at the time of examination and treatment so that the declaration can be checked before medicines are administered.

We strongly recommend that all our clients sign the section IX declaration that their horse or pony 'IS NOT INTENDED FOR SLAUGHTER FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION'. YOU MUST SIGN THE DECLARATION IN EACH HORSE'S PASSPORT.

We are seeing many passports which do not have the declaration signed even though the owners believe them to be in order.