“If you have horses that are registered to you but have sold them, you could still be liable for them.” This is the warning from Stewart Everett, chief executive at Equine Register, the team delivering and managing the Central Equine Database (CED) in partnership with Defra.

The CED holds over 1.2 million equine records from the 81 UK passport issuing organisations. 45% of horses are microchipped, but from October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys.

At the National Equine Forum earlier this month, Stewart ran though the benefits of the system, due to be updated soon. We’ve put together a Q&A on his presentation:

What are the benefits to horse owners?

It’s your data – the CED makes it more accessible for you. You can update your address, check your details, and manage all your horses in one place via the Digital Stable.

What if my horse goes missing?

You can report missing horses via CED, instantly alerting enforcement agencies, welfare organisations, vets, border control, auctioneers and abattoirs.

You can also report missing documents such as passports, and create alerts to warn potential buyers that your horse may be being sold illegally.

What if my horse has multiple microchips?

It’s best to put them all onto the system – that way whichever one is scanned it will pick up your horse’s identity and your details.

What other information can owners access?

Alerts on vaccinations and outbreaks can all be delivered via CED. Owners receive local and national alerts on disease and criminal activities, targeted to wherever your equine is kept.

It has the potential to help vets work faster, more accurately and have better communication channels to their clients.

CED will also help keep better track of equines and who is responsible for them, improving the welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys.

It can also be used to deliver event biosecurity with pre-event registration to check what vaccinations are required to attend and whether your horse is eligible to enter.

The CED needs to be adopted by the equine industry as a whole for it to work best. “We have new regulations so you need to check the data we have on your animals,” Stewart added.

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