The Horse Passports Regulations 2009
- It is an offence to own or keep a horse
without a passport, therefore it is an offence to sell
or purchase a horse without a passport
- It is an offence to fail to notify the
Passport Issuing Organisation of the change of ownership,
this should be done within 30 days of purchase or change of ownership.
- Any horse born after the 1st July 2009,
or which doesn’t already have a passport, must also have
a transponder (microchip) fitted. These can only be inserted by
- It is an offence to have more than one
passport for a horse, if you have, then arrange to return
one to the relevant issuing organisation
- Passports must accompany your horse at all times,
including during transportation (except in emergency situations).
The person with primary responsibility for the horse must have
the passport made available to them if they are not the owner.
- Foals must have a microchip and passport by
the 31st December in the year of birth or within six months of
birth, whichever is the longer. If the ‘foal’ is to
be moved before then it must have a microchip and passport, except
where it is being moved with the dam.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes
owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs
of their animals are met. These include the need:
- for a suitable environment (place
to live) - dry lying area, free from dangers
- for a suitable diet – fresh water and
adequate nutrition to maintain good health
- to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
- to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
- to be protected from pain, injury, suffering
- Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not
provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals,
fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.
Transport of Animals (Cleansing and Disinfection) (England)
(No 3) Order 2003
Cleansing and disinfection
Any person transporting horses shall ensure that:
- they are loaded onto a means of transport which
has been cleansed, and where necessary, disinfected
- any soiled litter and excreta are removed as
soon as practicable
Pet, non-commercial etc. exemption no longer applies.
The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006
Horses shall not be transported in a way
which causes or is likely to cause them injury or unnecessary suffering,
e.g. vehicles must be of sound construction, have non-slip floors,
no sharp projections, and have adequate space to allow the horses
to stand in their normal position.
A horse shall not be transported unless it is fit for the
intended journey. A horse shall not be considered fit if:
- it is ill, injured, infirm, fatigued or has
given birth during the previous week
- it is new-born and its navel is not completely
- is a mare which is beyond 90% of its gestation
period or for any other reason, unless it is transported direct
to the nearest available place for veterinary treatment or diagnosis.
Note: Registered Horses are exempt
from the regulation prohibiting the transport of pregnant females
beyond 90% of their gestation period and transporting mares with
their newly born foals if:
- the journey is to improve the health and welfare
conditions of the birth and
- if accompanied throughout the journey by a dedicated
A horse may not be dragged or pushed by any means,
or lifted by a mechanical device unless under the supervision and
in the presence of a veterinary surgeon who is arranging for it
to be transported with all practicable speed to a place for veterinary
Where horses are not led into, or out of a vehicle, the loading
ramp must be provided with protection on each side, sufficient to
prevent them from falling off or escaping. Ramps must not have an
angle exceeding 20 degrees and must be fitted with foot battens
or otherwise to prevent slipping. Precautions in the form of partitions
must be fitted to support the horses and prevent them being thrown
about by the motion of the vehicle.
The 2006 Order has no further implications for the transport
of pet horses, including privately owned horses used for recreational
purposes, unless the transport is of a commercial nature.
Anyone transporting horses in connection with an
economic activity must comply with the following ‘Economic
Activity’ will include farmers, livestock hauliers, those
who move domestic equines in connection with professional riding,
livery, breeding or racing. If you employ a groom to drive your
vehicle, you will almost certainly need to comply with the following.
For journeys over 65km and under eight hours
- hold a transporter authorisation (Type 1) issued
- ensure that drivers and attendants are in possession
of a certificate of competence
- complete an animal transport document (ATD)
For journeys over 65km and over eight hours
- have a long journey transporter authorisation
(Type 2) issued by DEFRA
- ensure the vehicle used has been inspected and
- ensure that contingency plans are in place in
the event of an emergency
- ensure a journey log is completed for journeys
going outside the UK (this does not include registered horses)
- complete an ATD if journey is within the UK
- drivers and attendants are in possession of a
certificate of competence
Vehicles used for the transport of horses shall be designed, constructed,
maintained and operated so as to:
- avoid injury and suffering and to ensure the
safety of the animals
- protect the animals from inclement weather and
- prevent the animals escaping or falling out
- ensure the air quality and quantity appropriate
to the species transported can be maintained
- provide access to the animals to allow inspection
- minimise the leakage of urine or faeces
- provide a means of lighting sufficient for inspection
of the animals
- provide sufficient space inside the animal compartment
to ensure that there is adequate ventilation above the animals
when they are standing in their natural position
- have anti-slip flooring and ramps with foot
- have partitions strong enough to withstand the
weight of the horse, with fittings designed for quick and easy
- Be clearly marked to indicate the presence of
Vehicles used for the transport of horses over eight
hours must be inspected and approved by an authorised body.
Except in an approved vehicle, no horse may be transported
on a journey in excess of eight hours (except Registered horses).
In an approved vehicle, horses may be transported for 24 hours,
provided that, at eight-hour intervals, they are given liquid and,
if necessary, fed. At the end of the 24-hour period of transport
horses must be rested for at least 24 hours.
- must be registered with a recognised breed society
or company such as Wetherbys , transporters must be able to show
to an Inspector that the horse’s are registered
- registered horses not going to market or slaughter
are exempt from the requirement for journey logs, watering and
feeding intervals, journey times and rest periods and ATDs
- Horses may not be transported in a vehicle with
more than one deck in operation. Minimum internal height shall
be 75cm higher than the height of the withers of the highest animal.
- When transported in groups, horses older than
eight months must wear halters (unless they are unbroken).
- Unbroken horses shall not be transported in
groups of more than four individual horses.
- Tied animals shall be transported separately
from untied animals.
- A stallion or a mare with a foal at foot may
not be transported in the same undivided vehicle as any other
horse (unless the horses were raised in compatible groups, are
accustomed to each other or where separation will cause distress).
- During transport, horses must be accompanied
by an ATD, giving details of the journey and the horses being
transported. Persons transporting their own horses, within their
own means of transport, for a distance of less than 50km from
their holding, are exempt from this requirement.
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and
is intended only for guidance. For further information please contact
your local trading standards service.
Hampshire County Council, Trading Standards Service, Montgomery
House, Monarch Way, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 5PW Tel: 01962 833620
Fax: 01962 833699 Email: email@example.com