Passports and microchips
After government legislation passed in 2004, it is a legal requirement that all horses should have an individual passport. Vets when treating a horse should check the passport and when treating horses with many of the commonly used drugs e.g. Bute, will ensure that the relevant section of the passport has been signed to remove the horse from eligability to enter the human food chain, or fill in the appropriate medications section. Although this is seen by many as an inconvenience, it is very important as it enables us to continue using drugs such as Bute which would otherwise be banned under EEC guidelines.
You should keep the passport with the horse when travelling, competing or bringing to the hospital. For horses that are admitted to the hospital, we will keep the passport here until the patient is discharged.
Microchips are also becoming a legal requirement. As from 2010, all foals born and any horses undergoing passport application or replacement will also need to have a microchip inserted. This is a procedure that we have used for some years in the racing industry and therefore have a great deal of experince in their application and reading. All the vets carry microchips and scanners, so can check and apply microchips readily.