Input sought on legislation proposing foal microchipping

December 6, 2008

Public input is sought on proposed changes to equine identification laws in Britain, the main requirement of which will be compulsory microchipping of foals born from July next year.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will take submissions until Feburary 10.

The microchipping requirement would not apply to horses born before July 1.

Under current law, all horses and other equidae are required to have identification.

The new regulation aims to improve the method of identification by linking each ID issued to an electronic microchip implanted into the animal.

Linking the microchip and ID, which are both recorded as a unique life number on a national database, will reduce risks to human health by stopping certain animals entering the food chain, help disease surveillance, and aid recovery of lost or stolen horses.