All horses and ponies (and other equines) in the UK need to have a passport identifying the animal. All owners or keepers of equines need to obtain a horse passport for each animal they own or keep. Passports will last for the life time of the animal and will include a Unique Equine Life Number.
The purpose of this legislation is to prevent veterinary medication, such as painkillers, sedatives, wormers, etc, entering the human food chain via the consumption of horse meat. You have the option to either permanently exclude your horse from slaughter for human consumption, or ‘opt in’ to your horse being slaughtered for horse meat. All you have to do is sign the appropriate section on the horse passport. If you acquire a horse whose passport declares him intended for human consumption, you may have this changed to ‘not available for human consumption’, however, once a horse has been excluded from the human food chain, this is irreversible.
A number of organisations have been authorised by DEFRA to issue horse passports, including the British Driving Society. It is strongly recommended that owners of Breed Registered horses/ponies should apply to their own Breed Society for a passport.
The BDS can issue horse passports to both BDS members and non-members.
You can obtain a passport application form the BDS office or you can download and print a form from this web site. We also have guidelines to help you fill in the form and speed up the processing.
Your passport is a legal document, please keep it safe.
You can print a BDS passport application form from this web site.
Horse Passport application form Application Form v8 Jul 15
Horse Passport change of detail form Change of Details Form v6 Jan 16
Change of ownership notification Change of Owner Form v6 Jan 16
Horse Passports legal information update Legal Information Update
Terms & Conditions for issuing horse passports Issuing Horse Passports
Guidelines for filling in passport applications
The diagram and description on the back of the passport application form must be completed and signed by a Veterinary Surgeon. You may send a copy of your existing vaccination certificate or other veterinary identification. Only if your equine is micro-chipped may you complete the diagram/description yourself
You may send a photocopy of your veterinary record of vaccination showing the diagrams of your equine, together with the description as completed by your vet. You do not need to send the original.
Make sure that you sign section 3 on the form i.e. “not intended for human consumption” or “is intended for human consumption”