Horse owners are asked for views on 'broken' passport system

Horse owners are asked for views on 'broken' passport system

Equine Sector Council for Health and Welfare launches the horse owners’ passport survey – the first step in a two stage consultation that will build a strong case on the need for a transformation of the horse passport system in the UK, by first identifying the problems.

Following the commitment from Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the need to vastly improve the horse passport system in the UK, the *Equine Sector Council for Health and Welfare are surveying various groups of stakeholders on their understanding of the current horse passport regulations.

To help inform where the passport system needs improvement various stakeholders in the passport system will be offered the chance to take a survey containing some core questions consistent across all surveys, with other questions individually tailored to specific groups including horse owners, vets, passport issuing organisations and the meat trade.

World Horse Welfare’s Chief Executive, Roly Owers said: “In light of the horse meat crisis, and with Defra now reviewing the whole system of horse passports, we can start to take some of the vital steps needed to restrict unnecessary movements of horses across borders and improve traceability. We have a real opportunity to implement practical change to the whole system of equine identification in the UK and must make sure we do everything we can to make it count.”

Under EU law, all horses must be issued with passports which record whether they have received medication which would make them unsafe to eat. However, there has been mounting evidence that the UK’s current unwieldy passport system, with 75+ authorised issuing organisations providing varying standards of documentation, was easily open to fraud and abuse.

Please fill out the horse owners’ survey to play your part in improving the horse passport system in the UK, so that we can work to stop the suffering of horses and better link horses to owners: http://www.horsesurvey.co.uk/owner

Closing date of the survey is on April 19th 2013.