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 make sure 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. This is so that your horse can be identified, you could be fined up to £5000 if you do not have one. Your horse must always be accompanied by its passport. But 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 Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) that are authorised by DEFRA

Foals born since 1 July 2009 need to be microchipped. All foals must 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.

Before buying a horse, it is advised by Trading Standards to make sure that the animal matches the description provided.  You should also get a proper passport with a purchase invoice. This will include the seller's details. Additionally, it is important to determine whether the seller is a trader or a private individual, as this can impact your legal rights.

Further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For more details on the law please visit the DEFRA horse passport page.

National Equine Database

If your horse is lost, stolen, or has gone 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. We also 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

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