MICROCHIPPING

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5 January 2019
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Hi. Like a lot of other owners i would like to refuse to microchip my 2 ponies on the basis that i have already paid for their passports (a legal requirement) which to date no one has ever asked for. The exception being the vet who records their vacccinations in it but this record is in my vet's practice records anyway. Does anyone know what are the consequences of refusing to microchip a horse or pony? Can vets refuse to treat an equine that hasn't got a microchip? Can owners be fined?
 
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Hi. I acknowledge that a microchipped equine might be easier to identify assuming the police have access to the stolen animal (some stolen equines disappear off the face of the earth so what good is a microchip?). Microchipping can't stop poor treatment or abuse of the stolen equine whilst in the hands of the thieves. That is what bothers me. Also passports were supposed to be a way of identifying equines. Most owners know that turned out to be pointless & an expensive waste of time so why bring in yet another legal requirement for equine owners?
 

Cortez

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Passports are not pointless, they are the only reliable way of recording a horse's movements, medications and changes of ownership, as well as identifying not only the horse but also it's breeding and registry. Of course this can only work with the co-operation and diligence of the passport holders. Microchipping is a permanent identifier, it has no contribution to the abuse or otherwise of any animal - how could it? Your argument is quite odd.

Every animal I have charge of (except for the chickens & geese) is microchipped and registered on a database - several, actually.
 

paddy555

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many of my passports were obtained when it first became compulsory and have no info re the breeding, they have been seen once by a vet who signed them and there is no record of medications in them. No one else has ever asked to see them. To me they achieved nothing and were a pointless waste of time in paying for them. I could have seen the point in them if micro chipping was included at the time.

I don't want to microchip my old horses as I don't see why I should have to pay out again to do it having already paid out for passports. Not that I cannot afford to pay out simply I don't see why I should have to. Older horses will die out gradually and as the next generations of horses come along they will all have been micro chipped. I cannot see any gain.
I'm sure many law abiding people got passports originally and will micro chip now but those who don't will just carry on as normal and flout the law. I'm getting fed up of paying to obey every regulation when others just get away with it. It is was properly policed it would be a different matter.
 

Cortez

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many of my passports were obtained when it first became compulsory and have no info re the breeding, they have been seen once by a vet who signed them and there is no record of medications in them. No one else has ever asked to see them. To me they achieved nothing and were a pointless waste of time in paying for them. I could have seen the point in them if micro chipping was included at the time.

I don't want to microchip my old horses as I don't see why I should have to pay out again to do it having already paid out for passports. Not that I cannot afford to pay out simply I don't see why I should have to. Older horses will die out gradually and as the next generations of horses come along they will all have been micro chipped. I cannot see any gain.
I'm sure many law abiding people got passports originally and will micro chip now but those who don't will just carry on as normal and flout the law. I'm getting fed up of paying to obey every regulation when others just get away with it. It is was properly policed it would be a different matter.
I find it beyond strange that the UK, a nation that seems to really enjoy bureaucracy and doing things proper, should be so vehemently opposed to the documenting of horses. Ireland, temperamentally of a far more laissez faire mindset, has long embraced passports and the accompanying microchip that makes the whole thing work as it was intended.
 

EKW

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Part of the problem with microchipping is that the registered owner/keeper is ever kept updated. Most people don't know who the chip is registered with. When we had the foal chipped the other year the vets said they would do everything, paper work etc. I found out a few months later that they didn't. The foal was chipped but the chip was registered to no one and nothing. I had a hell of a job tracking down the issuing company to put that right.
 

Cortez

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Part of the problem with microchipping is that the registered owner/keeper is ever kept updated. Most people don't know who the chip is registered with. When we had the foal chipped the other year the vets said they would do everything, paper work etc. I found out a few months later that they didn't. The foal was chipped but the chip was registered to no one and nothing. I had a hell of a job tracking down the issuing company to put that right.
This is part of the problem (and vets are really terrible at this and should be ashamed of themselves). I make absolutely sure that ALL my animals are registered on every database and any changes are updated. If ever anything is lost or stolen the only way they can be traced back to me is if they are correctly registered.
 
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Ultimately if you don't get your horse microchipped it would be a £200 fine per horse, but again its unlikely you'll be checked. However the times the microchip gets checked will be if something goes wrong. For example if your horse escapes, has no chip so the police can't trace its owner and they waste hours looking after the horse/searching for an owner, they might be inclined to fine you when you come forward for your horse..... Second a vet is unlikely to refuse to treat your horse because it doesn't have a microchip, but they would be justifiable not to provide you with certain meds such as bute, prascend, amongst others because they cannot prove the horse has been signed out the food chain as they cannot link it to you.
 

paddy555

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I find it beyond strange that the UK, a nation that seems to really enjoy bureaucracy and doing things proper, should be so vehemently opposed to the documenting of horses. Ireland, temperamentally of a far more laissez faire mindset, has long embraced passports and the accompanying microchip that makes the whole thing work as it was intended.
you quoted my post but your reply is not really an answer as to why people who passported in the first place now have to pay out again to microchip old horses. I'm not opposed to documenting horses, I am opposed to having to do it twice for the same horse
 
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many of my passports were obtained when it first became compulsory and have no info re the breeding, they have been seen once by a vet who signed them and there is no record of medications in them. No one else has ever asked to see them. To me they achieved nothing and were a pointless waste of time in paying for them. I could have seen the point in them if micro chipping was included at the time.

I don't want to microchip my old horses as I don't see why I should have to pay out again to do it having already paid out for passports. Not that I cannot afford to pay out simply I don't see why I should have to. Older horses will die out gradually and as the next generations of horses come along they will all have been micro chipped. I cannot see any gain.
I'm sure many law abiding people got passports originally and will micro chip now but those who don't will just carry on as normal and flout the law. I'm getting fed up of paying to obey every regulation when others just get away with it. It is was properly policed it would be a different matter.
So do you not bother to vaccinate for tetanus or flu? If you do why are these not recorded in your horses passports? If you do not then the health of your horses is dependnt on those of us who do vaccinate and thus keep the numbers of vaccinated horses in the national herd at a level that may prevent major outbreaks of flu. Tetanus can strike at any time and failing to vaccinate is, in my view, risky.
 

paddy555

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Ultimately if you don't get your horse microchipped it would be a £200 fine per horse, but again its unlikely you'll be checked. However the times the microchip gets checked will be if something goes wrong. For example if your horse escapes, has no chip so the police can't trace its owner and they waste hours looking after the horse/searching for an owner, they might be inclined to fine you when you come forward for your horse..... Second a vet is unlikely to refuse to treat your horse because it doesn't have a microchip, but they would be justifiable not to provide you with certain meds such as bute, prascend, amongst others because they cannot prove the horse has been signed out the food chain as they cannot link it to you.
ref your final para. My passports were produced to my vet and signed by them, my horses are all recorded on my vet's records and indeed they have the vet history having dealt with many of them (who are passported not chipped) they are already aware they are signed out of the food chain from their passports and are already supplying bute, prascend etc. Are they really going to turn up and say I can't treat it as I can't link it to you even though I have been treating your horse for ages?
 

teddypops

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Part of the problem with microchipping is that the registered owner/keeper is ever kept updated. Most people don't know who the chip is registered with. When we had the foal chipped the other year the vets said they would do everything, paper work etc. I found out a few months later that they didn't. The foal was chipped but the chip was registered to no one and nothing. I had a hell of a job tracking down the issuing company to put that right.
My vet doesn’t register the microchips with anyone and when I asked about it, he said the point of them was just to match horse to passport!
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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Hi. Like a lot of other owners i would like to refuse to microchip my 2 ponies on the basis that i have already paid for their passports (a legal requirement) which to date no one has ever asked for. The exception being the vet who records their vacccinations in it but this record is in my vet's practice records anyway. Does anyone know what are the consequences of refusing to microchip a horse or pony? Can vets refuse to treat an equine that hasn't got a microchip? Can owners be fined?
Yes I have never bothered to microchip mine ( well ID was when I got her so was donkey) but my gelding and pony were not, they are freezemarked and hoof branded. When they said they have to be, microchiped I thought oh well if I must I must and did it. No big issue here apart from cost.
 

paddy555

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So do you not bother to vaccinate for tetanus or flu? If you do why are these not recorded in your horses passports? If you do not then the health of your horses is dependnt on those of us who do vaccinate and thus keep the numbers of vaccinated horses in the national herd at a level that may prevent major outbreaks of flu. Tetanus can strike at any time and failing to vaccinate is, in my view, risky.
my horses are all vaccinated for tetanus not flu and the vet has never asked to enter this on their passports. If the next question is how do I know who is vaccinated I have a continual record of my own as to who is done and when.
 
Joined
5 January 2019
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many of my passports were obtained when it first became compulsory and have no info re the breeding, they have been seen once by a vet who signed them and there is no record of medications in them. No one else has ever asked to see them. To me they achieved nothing and were a pointless waste of time in paying for them. I could have seen the point in them if micro chipping was included at the time.

I don't want to microchip my old horses as I don't see why I should have to pay out again to do it having already paid out for passports. Not that I cannot afford to pay out simply I don't see why I should have to. Older horses will die out gradually and as the next generations of horses come along they will all have been micro chipped. I cannot see any gain.
I'm sure many law abiding people got passports originally and will micro chip now but those who don't will just carry on as normal and flout the law. I'm getting fed up of paying to obey every regulation when others just get away with it. It is was properly policed it would be a different matter.
My thoughts exactly. Great minds think alike.
 
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Passports are not pointless, they are the only reliable way of recording a horse's movements, medications and changes of ownership, as well as identifying not only the horse but also it's breeding and registry. Of course this can only work with the co-operation and diligence of the passport holders. Microchipping is a permanent identifier, it has no contribution to the abuse or otherwise of any animal - how could it? Your argument is quite odd.

Every animal I have charge of (except for the chickens & geese) is microchipped and registered on a database - several, actually.
[/QUOTE
Hi. i didn't say it contributed to abuse! I said my worry is about how the stolen equine is treated by the thief after it is stolen and before the animal is recovered.
 
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Yes I have never bothered to microchip mine ( well ID was when I got her so was donkey) but my gelding and pony were not, they are freezemarked and hoof branded. When they said they have to be, microchiped I thought oh well if I must I must and did it. No big issue here apart from cost.
Hi. I considered freezemarking but was told that it doesn't show up on grey coats & both my ponies are grey, almost white! I asked the farrier about hoof branding. He said he would do it but the brand disappears as the hoof grows so it has to be done regularly (every 9-12 months) so would be costly. I decided that neither of those methods were suitable.
 
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ref your final para. My passports were produced to my vet and signed by them, my horses are all recorded on my vet's records and indeed they have the vet history having dealt with many of them (who are passported not chipped) they are already aware they are signed out of the food chain from their passports and are already supplying bute, prascend etc. Are they really going to turn up and say I can't treat it as I can't link it to you even though I have been treating your horse for ages?
I know it's unlikely they won't dispense meds as most vets want to keep everyone happy, and don't want the awkward situation with the owner. However if things go wrong with horse meds, such as a horse given bute ends up in the human food chain, the vet can be prosecuted, suspended or struck of the RCVS register so they cannot work as a vet. Is it right that you put the vet in a difficult professional situation, because you don't want to go to the 'expense' £25-30 of getting them chipped? I know that sounds slightly accusatory but ultimately thats the worry going through a vets head when they are being 'difficult' with handing out meds/signing passports/scanning microchips.

Also you're working on the assumption that it's your vet treating the horse, imagine there was an accident transporting/at a show and another vet is treating your horse. They may be less accommodating, and instead use meds which they don't need to see the passport for (however they are significantly more expensive!!)
 
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I know it's unlikely they won't dispense meds as most vets want to keep everyone happy, and don't want the awkward situation with the owner. However if things go wrong with horse meds, such as a horse given bute ends up in the human food chain, the vet can be prosecuted, suspended or struck of the RCVS register so they cannot work as a vet. Is it right that you put the vet in a difficult professional situation, because you don't want to go to the 'expense' £25-30 of getting them chipped? I know that sounds slightly accusatory but ultimately thats the worry going through a vets head when they are being 'difficult' with handing out meds/signing passports/scanning microchips.

Also you're working on the assumption that it's your vet treating the horse, imagine there was an accident transporting/at a show and another vet is treating your horse. They may be less accommodating, and instead use meds which they don't need to see the passport for (however they are significantly more expensive!!)
I know it's unlikely they won't dispense meds as most vets want to keep everyone happy, and don't want the awkward situation with the owner. However if things go wrong with horse meds, such as a horse given bute ends up in the human food chain, the vet can be prosecuted, suspended or struck of the RCVS register so they cannot work as a vet. Is it right that you put the vet in a difficult professional situation, because you don't want to go to the 'expense' £25-30 of getting them chipped? I know that sounds slightly accusatory but ultimately thats the worry going through a vets head when they are being 'difficult' with handing out meds/signing passports/scanning microchips.

Also you're working on the assumption that it's your vet treating the horse, imagine there was an accident transporting/at a show and another vet is treating your horse. They may be less accommodating, and instead use meds which they don't need to see the passport for (however they are significantly more expensive!!)
It is a legal requirement to take a passport with you when you transport an equine. Also I always take my passports to shows even though the organisers, to date, have never asked to see them.
 
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My thoughts exactly. Great minds think alike.
I do see your points of view, and really the compulsory microchipping should have been there from the start, or at least the timeline started long ago, rather than suddenly appearing as a new piece of legislation. It would have made enforcement easier, as then the loophole of he hasn't got a chip because he's too old wouldn't come up when horses are scanned.

Also in terms of enforcement I again agree its been very lacking, I do wonder if the industry as a whole took it more seriously would passporting have been more effective. For example if every competition/show/auction/gathering place a horse went to the microchip + passport (+vaccine where appropriate) were checked, would we feel less cheated with the lack of enforcement. Even if there was the occasional spot check by authorities, it would have made everything seem more worth while. Instead the rules are there, and they do good, however because they aren't seen to be enforced by the general public, faith has been lost in them.
 
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It is a legal requirement to take a passport with you when you transport an equine. Also I always take my passports to shows even though the organisers, to date, have never asked to see them.
I agree it is an issue they aren't checked, although even if you have the passport but the horse isn't microchipped there could be an argument that it isn't the right passport, however I know thats unlikely and really an argument for arguments sake.

Hopefully microchips will make sense once next step of the 'bigger microchip picture' is there. That is the central equine database of all UK horse passports and microchips, which along with the national chip checker, all horses could be scanned and straight away it could be checked to see if the horse is signed out the food chain (useful for vets when treating), is the horse stolen (useful at auctions, shows or by police), and who the owner is (if the horse is lost or been abandoned/neglected). The initial stage has been launched but only time will tell if it is followed through on.

https://www.equineregister.co.uk/home
 

Nudibranch

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Many years ago my youngster and several other horses broke out and went on the run (long story and Houdini pony). Mine was the only one chipped and they were found, traced and home again within 24 hours. They'd travelled several miles across country.

The system has been set up badly but given we now do have one, I don't understand what there is to make a stand about. There are many more things one could protest about...horses should have a microchip which is recorded on their passport for all the reasons outlined above. Within the relatively high costs of keeping horses, microchipping is pretty much pennies. Seems a funny thing to get so worked up about tbh.
 

meleeka

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I don’t think anything will happen if you don’t microchip, the same as if they aren’t passported. I have two veterans both over 25 and I’ve no intention of getting them done either. One of them hasn’t even got a passport (I was given her without one). She’s had a vet check and checked for a microchip and the vet said not to worry as I’ll have two years. I very much doubt I’ll be asked again. My other ponies are freeemarked,
Microchipped and Passported.

I do wish the laws would be enforced. I’d be very happy to comply if they were, imo the horse crisis would be pretty much sorted if tbe laws we have were enforced. As usual it’s only the law abiding, responsible owners that are penalised.
 

Cortez

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I'm not sure if it has been implemented yet, but there was a proposition here (Ireland) to euthanise any straying horse which didn't have a microchip. Microchipping has been compulsory here for many years (for dogs too) and the system is working well. It has stopped the formerly prevalent practice of passport swapping.

I find the grumpiness over firstly passports, and now microchipping unfathomable; how can it not be a benefit to horse owners?
 

paddy555

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I know it's unlikely they won't dispense meds as most vets want to keep everyone happy, and don't want the awkward situation with the owner. However if things go wrong with horse meds, such as a horse given bute ends up in the human food chain, the vet can be prosecuted, suspended or struck of the RCVS register so they cannot work as a vet. Is it right that you put the vet in a difficult professional situation, because you don't want to go to the 'expense' £25-30 of getting them chipped? I know that sounds slightly accusatory but ultimately thats the worry going through a vets head when they are being 'difficult' with handing out meds/signing passports/scanning microchips.

Also you're working on the assumption that it's your vet treating the horse, imagine there was an accident transporting/at a show and another vet is treating your horse. They may be less accommodating, and instead use meds which they don't need to see the passport for (however they are significantly more expensive!!)
if my vet's had a problem I would be happy to chip. However I doubt they will even mention it. They have quite happily been able to identify my horses with their passports so far. They haven't in fact even asked for them and presumably know one of their vets has signed them out of the food chain, via their passports, on their vet records. I don't particularly want to go to the expense of £120 of getting them chipped. I cannot see it is money well spent.

It is very unlikely a strange vet would treat one as they are old and don't go anywhere. We are talking about old horses here.

If the system was good and well policed I would have no problem and could see a benefit. However if micro chipping is so good why are there so many abandoned horses that were born after chipping became compulsory who cannot be traced? If they were chipped they must be traceable, they cannot not be.

I did make a mistake earlier about not showing my passports as I had to show the passport for one horse. He was chipped (young) and went to horse hospital, they asked for his passport but I could take it along later during his visit, he still got treated with drugs. Not once did they scan the horse to see if his chip and passport matched.
 

Cortez

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It sounds as if your vets are rather lax. The "policing" of both passports and microchips is also down to the owners themselves in that ultimately it is their responsibility to make sure the information is recorded and registered. The argument that responsible people shouldn't be responsible because others are not is quite bizarre.
 

meleeka

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I find the grumpiness over firstly passports, and now microchipping unfathomable; how can it not be a benefit to horse owners?
We already had a law where anything born after 2009 has to be passported and microchipped. Microchips or passports aren’t routinely checked by anyone but passports are a useful way of recoding precious owners, vaccinations etc. This new law has now been made to include all equines, so older as well as younger horses. Given that the first law wasn’t enforced (and coloured cobs that are fly grazed are always under 10 years of age anyway) I don’t see any point in making a new law to aid animal welfare is going to do anything for it.
One of my oldies is freezemarked, the other not. They aren’t going to escape (my own land) and the chances of them getting stolen are remote,’especially as they share a field with the sort of ponies that do get stolen. If the thief was blind and didn’t see the creaky joints and sway backs, I’m fairly certain nobody would check their microchip unless they were passed to a good home where a passport was applied for. Our local ‘meat man’ doesn’t check or ask for a passport when putting to sleep for instance. I can’t see how microchipping them now is going to benefit me or them.
 
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