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Equine sector welcomes new ID legislation
The new legislation makes it a legal requirement for every horse, pony and donkey in England to be microchipped and have a valid UK passport.
Legislation key to the management of disease outbreaks

The equine sector has welcomed new equine ID legislation that will give horses greater protection against theft, the spread of disease and neglect.

The new legislation, which came into force on Monday (1 October), makes it a legal requirement for every horse, pony and donkey in England to be microchipped and have a valid UK passport, with details stored on the Central Equine Database.

Owners of horses born before 30 June 2009 have two years to ensure their animals are microchipped, with horses born after this date already required to be chipped. Any changes in the ownership status of a horse must be notified to the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO), which then has 24 hours to update the Central Equine Database (CED).

Besides protecting against theft and fraudulent sales, the new legislation will be key to the management of disease outbreaks, allowing for the mapping of horse populations and rapid communication with owners.

Welcoming the legislation, British Horse Council chair Jeanette Allen said: “Previous legislation has been half-baked but the new regulations are not only positive for horse owners but are a significant boost for equine health and welfare.

“Having all up-to-date data recorded on the Central Equine Database will help us better protect our equine population in the event of a disease outbreak, as well as providing essential tools to help owners find their horses in the event of theft or straying. It should also give owners confidence that horses which have previously been signed out of the human food chain never end up in the abattoir.”

BEVA chief executive David Montford said the new regulations will help ensure a wide range of equine medicines remain available to vets.

“Certain veterinary medicines can only be administered to a horse if it can be identified if treatment is recorded in the passport and/or if we can see that it is signed out of the human food chain,” he said. “If the passport is not readily available at the point of care then the treatment options are limited, errors in medicines records are possible and the authorities will seek to restrict medicines availability.

“Under the new ID regulations, vets will be able to positively identify the horse, check its status online and therefore use the most appropriate medicine with confidence. Vets want to do what is best for the horse and the new regulations will help ensure this is possible.”

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”