Two years ago, the government passed a law which made it a legal requirement for all horses to be microchipped and registered on the Central Equine Database, with the deadline for compliance being October 2020.

All horses born after June 2009 are already legally required to be microchipped, but owners of horses born before then were given 24 months to take action.

The aim of this new legislation is to give local authorities and police the ability to track down the owners of horses found further to them being lost or stolen. As well as improving the chances of such horses being reunited with their owners, it will enable irresponsible owners to be held properly accountable for the treatment of their animal.

If you haven’t done so already, speak to your vet who will be able to arrange microchipping your horses.

Once your horse is already microchipped, it is important that you let the passport issuing organisation (PIO) know, to ensure the horse’s passport and microchip are linked.

If you have purchased a new horse, you can check the microchip number against the horse on the Central Equine Database. (New owners have 30 days to notify the PIO of their details.)

Owners who do not microchip their horses and register the microchip on their passport and/or do not register them on the Central Equine Database by 1 October 2020 could face a fine of up to £200.

We’re huge lovers of horses and of horse racing (as you may know, we sponsor a jockey). So while equine matters are not core to our business, they’re close to our heart and important to many of our clients. To find out more or gain advice on rural property matters, call Richard Edge or Alex Orttewell on 01935 852170 or email