Posted 26th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
Defra has announced regulations that will ensure horses of all ages will need microchipping
Owners who fail to do so could face a fine of up to £200, it was announced. The RSPCA had previously revealed the true extent of the horse crisis across the country when it took in 1,000 horses last year, the majority of which were without microchips, making the owners untraceable.
As it stands, regulations say that horses born on or after 1 July 2009 need to be microchipped, and the RSPCA believes this should include horses of all ages by October 2020. It is hoped this will encourage responsible horse ownership, deterring people from leaving their horses unchipped.
RSPCA Assistant Director of External Affairs, David Bowles said: "We believe this extension of the current rules on compulsory microchipping will go some way to help find those irresponsible owners that abandon their horses as well as helping owners be reunited with their animals that have been stolen."
"If this law is to work, it is absolutely vital that it is properly enforced and if this happens it could be a crucial step in tackling the heart-breaking crisis facing horses in England and Wales."
Once the law is in effect, the Central Equine Database will allow local authorities and police to track down owners of abandoned horses, who will then face sanctions, be it compliance notices, or as a last resort, a fine of up to £200.
This will also help lost or stolen horses to be reunited with their owners, it is hoped.