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Does Your Horse Have a Passport?
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Does Your Horse Have a Passport?

Similar to a human one, a horse passport is a document enabling horses to be identified accurately and easily when transported across international borders. In the US, these ID forms are in mainly intended for animals who are taking part in the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) events. In the United Kingdom, it is now a legal requirement for all horses to have this “passport” as identification (not necessarily for traveling purposes), and an animal cannot be sold without this.

The UK passport for horses is now a mandatory requirement of ownership, following a law which was passed in 2003. All equine animals, including horses, donkeys, ponies, and other equids, comprising zoo animals such as zebras, are required by this law to be passport-registered, and owners may face a fine of up to £5000 if their animal does not have this document.  

The passport consists of a small card or booklet which:

a) Identifies the horse by species and height, and

b) Gives the age;

c) Gives a description of the appearance and identifies the breed;

d) States whether the horse can be used for meat when it dies;

e) Gives details of all medications that the horse has been given.

There are half-wild ponies in remote country areas in Britain such as Dartmoor, Exmoor and the New Forest which may require a passport if they are under some kind of ownership control (e.g. if they are on a farm or wear a saddle).

The passport needs to be kept with the animal at all times, including when they are moved from place to place and at their stable.  

In the US, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) issues passports for competitions.  To apply for this documentation, the horse must first be registered for life with the USEF and owned by a US citizen, who must belong to the USEF.  The pass needs to be renewed every four years and updated if the animal is sold on to a new owner.

Picture courtesy of www.yourhorse.co.uk.

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