Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Consultation launched on changes to horse identification legislation

Consultation launched on changes to horse identification legislation

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (News Release ref :355/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 10 November 2008

Defra has launched a consultation to revise the existing equine identification legislation. The consultation period runs from 10th November 2008 to 10 February 2009.

The main requirement for the new Horse Identification legislation is the compulsory microchipping of foals born after 1 July 2009. This requirement will not be retrospective for older horses.

Under the current legislation, all equidae are required to have identification. The new regulation aims to improve this current method of identification by linking each ID issued to an electronic microchip implanted into the animal. Linking the microchip and ID, which are both recorded as a unique life number on a national database, will reduce risks to human health by stopping certain animals entering the food chain, help disease surveillance, and aid recovery of lost or stolen horses.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on draft Regulations intended to apply Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 in England. The consultation document is confined to the application of a number of derogations provided for in the Regulation, along with new offences created and penalties for non compliance.

The consultation can be found at

Public enquiries 08459 335577;

Press notices are available on our website

Defra's aim is sustainable development


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