The ‘Horse Passports Regulations 2004’ came into effect in June 2004 and means that EVERY horse must now have its own passport whether or not it is expected to travel.

The purpose is to make sure that horses, throughout Europe, treated with specific medicines do not enter the food chain. The introduction of passports should help reduce the risk of a ban being introduced on numerous veterinary medicines currently used for treating horses. These medicines are essential for our horses welfare (e.g. phenylbutazone (‘bute’)).

There is a declaration within the passport to determine whether the horse will ultimately end up in the human food chain. As soon as the declaration is signed by an owner it cannot be reversed and the horse will never be allowed into the human food chain. This does affect which pharmaceuticals can be given to the horse.

Further details can be obtained either from your veterinary surgeon or from the following websites:

The DEFRA website for full details: