A new law was introduced in June this year requiring horse, pony and donkey owners to microchip their animals to prevent abuse and improve welfare. This law will come into force on 1 October 2018.
Previous to this law only horses born since July 2005 had to be microchipped. The new law will require all horses to be microchipped irrespective of age.
Earlier this year RSCPA released figures that showed that they rescued around 1,000 horses in 2017, to highlight the issue of horses being fly-tipped or dumped, often in horrific conditions. A huge majority were not microchipped making it virtually impossible to trace the owners.
From October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies, and donkeys. The new Central Equine Database will then allow local authorities and police to track down the owners of dumped horses and make sure they are punished and the animals are given the care they deserve. It will also mean lost or stolen horses will be reunited with their owners more easily.
The Central Equine Database logs all domesticated horses, including those required to be microchipped by October 2020. This will offer a practical solution to the pressing animal welfare issues which arise when horses are abandoned, making it easier to rehome the animals more quickly and effectively.
Horse owners have until October 2020 to make sure that all horses are microchipped. This extra time will allow horse owners to combine microchipping with a routine visit to, or from, their vet with the procedure costing around £24 including VAT.
If horse owners do not microchip their horses by October 2020 they could face sanctions from their local authority including a compliance notice and, as a last resort, a fine of up to £200.
Jeanette Allen, Chair of The British Horse Council, said:
“This new legislation has the full support of the British Horse Council. We have been working closely with Defra and this achieves the important step of requiring all equine animals to have a microchip.”
This is a huge advance for the UK’s horses, ponies, and donkeys. It will not only enable irresponsible owners to be held properly accountable for the treatment of their animal, it will also aid in reuniting owners with lost or stolen horses and significantly supports the UK’s efforts to protect our equines from disease outbreaks.
If you are unsure if your horse, pony or donkey is microchipped, please do not hesitate to contact our equine administrators who will be very happy to help on 01963 350307 ext 3.
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