HORSE OWNERS have been warned they have just one month left before new passport rules come into effect.

After Feb 28 animals without a passport cannot be sold, exported, slaughtered for human consumption, moved to attend a competition, or moved to new premises for breeding.
 
The basic purpose of the EU regulation is to prevent horses entering the food chain if they have been treated with certain veterinary medicines.

Junior DEFRA minister Alun Michael said horse owners who had not yet applied for a passport should do so without delay.

“A key concern for government and for the industry is that approval for around 60% of UK vet medicines could be withdrawn if the commission is not satisfied with compliance.

“Their withdrawal could have important welfare implications, so I urge those owners who have not yet applied to do so without delay.”

The government has already issued half a million horse passports but it says the total number of horse and ponies in Great Britain could be just under a million.

For more information on obtaining a horse passport, including a list of Passport Issuing Organisations, visit DEFRA‘s website.