Equine Digital Passport Solution Proposed for Efficient European Travel

Equine Digital Passport Solution Proposed for Safer European Travel image of horse trailer

Equine Digital Passport Solution Proposed for Safer European Travel

An Equine Digital Passport Solution has been proposed by the International Sport Horse Confederation (IHSC) Taskforce for Brexit and European Union (EU) Animal Health Law to ensure the efficient cross-border movement of sport, racing and breeding horses from 2021.

The proposed solution would allow for the free movement of horses between Great Britain and Europe following the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020 and would also meet the requirements of the new EU Animal Health Law Legislation, which comes into force at the beginning of next year.

The equine digital passport system would simplify the movement of horses by providing authorities of EU countries with fail-safe information on the horse’s identity, as well as real-time monitoring of its movement and ownership information. These passports would also contain up-to-date vaccination and medical records, allowing for a higher level of monitoring and prevention of potential disease outbreaks.

The equine digital passports would be available and operational from the beginning of 2021, although paper passports would continue to be issued as is currently required by the EU. Ultimately, if the system is approved by EU Member States, it could be used as an alternative to paper passports.


It is hoped that the solution, based on existing EU legislation and agreements, will gain strong support from the main stakeholders in the European horse industry. If adopted, it would ensure a level of identification, biosecurity and disease detection that goes beyond the scope of what is currently contained in the new EU Animal Health Law legislation.

This is an unprecedented show of solidarity for the horse industry in Europe,” FEI Veterinary Director and Chair of the IHSC Task Force Dr Göran Akerström said.

Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the difficulties in implementing the new Animal Health Law legislation, as well as the problems created by the global pandemic stand to adversely impact a regional industry which generates an annual revenue in excess of €50 billion and provides employment for more than 500,000 people.

Any obstacles to the cross-border movement of horses and associated personnel would result in huge economic losses to Britain, Ireland and France, as well as other EU Member States such as Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.

It is imperative that we put in place systems and processes to ensure the efficient and safe cross-border movement of horses and this digital passport would play a key role in that.”

The long term aim is to create a Europe wide network of databases which registers a horse’s identity, allows for an equine to be easily located and identified, and ensures the secure movement of horses anywhere in Europe.

About IHSC Taskforce for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law

The Taskforce for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law comprises representatives from the key European Sport Horse and Race Horse industries. It was formed by the International Sport Horse Confederation (IHSC) – constituted jointly by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

Its purpose is to work with Governments and key individuals to devise and present solutions which would facilitate the movement of Sport Horses and Thoroughbreds (competition, training and breeding animals) across the EU and including between the EU and the United Kingdom post-Brexit and the implementation of the EU Animal Health Law.

You may also like to read


Related posts