Horse passports and grazing licences

​All horses and ponies in England and Wales need to have passports that identify them. The main purpose of passports is to ensure that where a horse has been treated with a veterinary medicine it will not be used for human consumption.

If you own a horse you must ensure that it has an up to date passport so that your horse can be identified, you could be fined up to £5000 if you do not have one. Your horse must be accompanied by its passport at all times, there are some exemptions to this rule which can be found on the DEFRA website.

Adult horses that do not have a passport at present will need to be microchipped before you can apply for a passport. The microchip can only be implanted by a veterinary surgeon. Passports can be obtained from a number of Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) that are authorised by DEFRA

Foals born since 1 July 2009 need to be microchipped. All foals will have to have a microchip and passport by 31 December in the year that they are born or by the time that they are six months old, whichever is the latest.

Trading Standards advise that you ensure before purchasing a horse that the animal is as described and that you are supplied with a correct passport including a purchase invoice with details of the person bought from. Also ensure that you know if the seller is a trader or private sale as this would affect your statutory rights.

Further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For more details on the law please follow the DEFRA link.

National Equine Database

In the unthinkable event of your horse being lost, stolen or going missing on loan, the National Equine Database (NED) can immediately help you through its UK-wide lost/stolen register. Make sure its identification details and your owner details are up to date.

Grazing – horse licence/tenancy agreement

Only equines that hold grazing licences issued by us may be tethered on Council managed land. Further to that we have the authority to remove them and that all associated costs will be recovered from the owner through, if necessary, the sale of the horse. 

Contact us

Environmental Health

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street
Wakefield
WF1 2EB

0345 8 506 506