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20/06/13 12:00

Horse passport advice

Six rules for horse owners to follow.

A leaflet stressing the importance of horse passports will be available for horse owners at events in Scotland throughout the summer.

It will list the ‘Six Golden Rules’ and offer advice on how to obtain a horse passport.

The rules state all horse owners must:

  • ensure their horse is microchipped if it was born after July 1 2009 or getting a passport for the first time
  • have a horse passport from an approved Passport Issuing Organisation
  • sign the horse’s passport if they want to prevent it from entering the food chain
  • make sure their vet sees the horse’s passport prior to providing treatment
  • keep the passport with their horse
  • return the horse passport when the horse dies to prevent fraud

It comes after the horsemeat scandal earlier this year which saw widespread food fraud in Europe, though not directly involving Scottish producers.

Launching the leaflet at the Royal Highland Show, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“There are approximately 100,000 horses in Scotland demonstrating the importance of the industry and the passport itself.

“The horsemeat scandal was the work of a few opportunist rogues and it was shocking for all of us to find horsemeat had entered the food chain.

“The European Commission is working with Member States to reform the package of controls which apply to horses, however the requirement for horse identification and passports will remain.

“I urge all owners to follow the advice in this leaflet to protect this industry and look after Scotland’s horses.”