Horse passports guidance 2020

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Equine Animal (Identification) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 require that all horses, regardless of age or status, be accompanied by an identification document (passport/ScotEquine card) and be implanted with a microchip. This includes horses used for agricultural purposes, riding ponies, pets, companion animals, hacks, competition animals, etc.

This Scottish Government guidance outlines the requirements for horse passports and specifically the duties/roles of horse owners/keepers, veterinarians and Scottish local authorities in ensuring a horse is correctly identified throughout its lifetime.

It includes information on what horse passports are, when and how they should be obtained, microchipping requirements, legal obligations, enforcement and other considerations.

There is also a list of Scottish-approved horse Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs).

Am I eligible?

Anyone can use this service.

What does this cost?

The cost of obtaining a horse passport is set by the individual PIO and could vary.

As part of your application you are required to provide a diagram (known as a silhouette) of your horse, which accurately shows all distinguishing marks. It may be possible to complete this silhouette yourself if you obtain a passport from certain PIOs, but many PIOs require this be to done by a vet, which could mean additional cost.

Who is this for?

Specific guidance is included for horse owners/keepers, veterinarians and local authorities in Scotland.

How long does this take?

A horse must be identified by the later of 31 December in the year of its birth, or within 6 months of its birth.

An application for a passport must be submitted to the PIO 30 days prior to the deadline for identification. PIOs must issue an application pack within 7 days of it being requested.

Important information

There is a legal requirement to keep the information in a horse’s passport up-to-date and correct, including ownership details and the food chain status of the animal.

With effect from 28 March 2021, it will be mandatory for all horses not currently identified by means of a microchip to be identified by the insertion of a microchip as well as a passport.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

Help us improve

We appreciate your feedback but we cannot reply to questions submitted here. Use our contact form if you need a reply. Please don't include personal or financial information like your contact details, national insurance number or credit card details.