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Stackyard News Feb 05

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horse passportsHorse Passports: The Final Furlong?

The CLA is reminding owners of horses, ponies and donkies that they only have until the end of this month to obtain a passport for their four legged friends.

According to DEFRA, under the horse passports scheme all owners must obtain a passport for each horse, pony or donkey they own. After 28 February 2005, animals without one can not be sold, bought, moved to attend a competition or show, moved to new premises for breeding, exported, or slaughtered for human consumption.

Carole Hodgson, CLA Assistant Regional Director North and Equine Adviser said: "Although we believe that this legislation has been badly introduced, passports will be required by law at the end of this month and I would advise that owners move to obtain one.

Ms Hodgson, who owns five horses, expressed exasperation at this latest red tape to hit the equine industry, which has seen Defra requirements change on the hoof more than once.

She said: "Government can only guess at the number of horses in this country to the nearest 1/2 million; those who followed advice and obtained their passports early are now at a disadvantage by having signed the 'not for human consumption' which is no longer necessary; and now the expensive requirement for a vet to complete the identification part for horses that are not microchipped - another change of heart by DEFRA - appears to be redundant as riders can obtain their passports from Scotland, where this rule does not apply."

In response to the many queries concerning this and other equine issues, CLA North is to shortly announce a dedicated equine advisory team. For further information contact Carole Hodgson on 01524 782209.

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