Important Update From DEFRA

Please see below an update received from Defra about The Equine Identification Regulations;


Dear PIO


We can confirm that the Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018 have been laid before Parliament.


Some of the key features of the regulations include:


·       Requiring that all horses, apart from wild ponies, are microchipped. The previous requirement to microchip horses generally only applied to horses born after 2009. The new requirement extends this to all horses and comes into force on 1 October 2020.

·       The regulations give new enforcement powers to local authorities. Previously local authorities have had to rely on prosecutions. From 1 October this year, local authorities will be able to issue civil sanctions where breaches of the regulations are found. Local authorities may issue compliance notices (which specify the breach and steps to be taken), recover enforcement costs and fine offenders up to £200.

·       Widespread microchipping, especially in concert with the new Central Equine Database (which was launched in March this year) and civil sanctions, will allow local authorities, as well as the police, to track horses that are abandoned back to their original owners and support tackling welfare problems.

·       Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) issue and record details about horse passports. New is a requirement that PIOs update their records within the Central Equine Database within 24 hours of its creating or amending a record. This will help ensure up to date information is available to those who safeguard animal welfare.

·       A derogation from the full identification requirements has been retained for the wild ponies living on Dartmoor, Exmoor, New Forest and Wicken Fen. Some details have changed in order to ensure compliance with EU law but the new provisions have been designed to be as pragmatic and practicable as possible to the unique placement of wild ponies in England.


The Regulations and the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum are published at:


The Regulations apply in England.


We will review the Minimum Operating Procedures (MOPS) to align to the new regulations.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only. If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender. Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems. Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.

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