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What are the horse passport regulations?


-It is an offence to keep a horse without a passport.

-Each horse must be accompanied by their passport.

-A passport must be available at all times, or have access to it within 3 hours if horse kept in a field.

-Vets are required to ask to see the ‘patient’s’ passport before treatment.

-A passport should be made available at time of treatment with a veterinary medicine.

-On the death of the horse/donkey the passport should, within 30 days be returned to the Pass port Issuing organisation so that the passport can be invalidated, (the passport can then be re-turned to the owner if required).

How compliance with the equine passport system will affect you


-The valid equine passport must contain Section IX, declaring if the horse IS or IS NOT intended for human consumption.

-If section IX is signed NOT for human consumption, all the prescribing regulations for any medicines required for your horse are made irrelevant. Your horse is NOT going to enter the hu-man food chain therefore we are able to prescribe any appropriate medicine.

-If section IX is either unsigned, or declared intended for human consumption, then the relevant regulations for prescribing medicine to food producing animals must be applied.

This restricts the use of certain medicines as well as increasing the need for written prescription records both within the passport and a separate medicine record book kept by the carer for five years after the medicine/wormer has been administered.


Passport Compliance—the immediate future

We all recognise the obvious limitations of the passport system, however we do feel that it is appropriate in the light of the food scandal earlier this year that we should all aim to improve our compliance with the regulations as they are at the moment. For 99.9% of our patients this solely requires the completion of section IX of the passport declaring that the horse is NOT intended for human con-sumption.

The provision of Bute and Prascend will be the most relevant medicines to most of our clients. Neither medicine can be provided with-out a passport signed not for human consump-tion.

We must elevate the status of the equine passport! It has to be recognised as an important document for each of your horses.

With this in mind we will from now on request to see your horses passport at each consultation not only when they are being vaccinated. It is important that we update our records regarding the health of your horse and the continued validity and existence of their passport.

We request that when you are picking up medication from the surgery that you bring the relevant horse passport with you.

This is to ensure our records are constantly up to date. Repeat prescriptions and any posted medicines, will continue to be prescribed so long as our records are complete and that the patient has been examined within the last 12 months.


The important take away messages are:

1. Please ensure you have a passport for your horse.

2. Please ensure it contains a section IX.

3. If you want your horse to be able to receive either Bute or Prascend the passport must be signed NOT for human consumption.

4. Please make your passport available to us, so that we can keep our records are up to date and ensure that your horse is not restricted in the medications it may be prescribed.

Please feel free to contact the surgery with any questions you may have.

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