UK Authority Accepting Consults on Equine ID Program

The United Kingdom's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a consultation period to revise existing equine identification legislation. During this time, pre-selected consultees will be able to weigh in on some aspects of the program. The consultation period will run through Feb. 10, 2009, and applies to England only.

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

Under the current legislation, all equids 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. According to DEFRA, 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.

DEFRA will consider the responses to this consultation when drafting domestic regulations pertaining to this change.

The consultation can be found at

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