Compulsory microchipping for Aust endurance horses

January 20, 2010

by Robin Marshall

Qualified endurance horses in Australia must now be microchipped before they can compete, under new rules effective from January 1.

The Australian Enduance Riders Association (AERA) will not issue a logbook to horses without a microchip and a full veterinary identification.

The move follows the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007, when many horses in New South Wales and Queensland were microchipped by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) after being vaccinated.

"The Government at the time stated that they would like all horses to be microchipped for tracking and ease of identification," said AERA secretary Anne Jones.

The microchipping issue was first raised by the Queensland association at the AERA meeting in 2008.

"The AERA already had a policy of microchipping endurance horses but this was not compulsory and the owner could choose a veterinary identification if the horse was branded," she said.

The Queensland association felt that it would be only a matter of time before the government made micropchipping compulsory across the board.

The original motion put forward was that all horses should be microchipped, and the rule was come into place in 2009. Amendments were made that only qualified endurance horses required microchipping, commencing on January 1, 2010. The amendment was accepted, went through the AERA second vote process, and became a new rule in 2010.

Microchipped horses also require a veterinary identification in case a scanner is not available at rides, in which case identification can be done visually by the chief steward.

"The AERA feels that microchipping will also alleviate identification problems that arise from time to time, and horse's names being changed," Jones said.