Under European Union (EU) regulations, which came into effect on 1st July 2009, all equines have to be microchipped before an owner can apply for an equine passport. The application of the microchip must be performed by a veterinarian and is completely painless. The tiny microchip (the size of a rice grain) is implanted under the skin of the animal’s neck and contains a unique identification number which serves as a permanent form of identification. The ID number has to be registered in the national database and it is very important that the owner’s details on the database are kept up to date. Once the microchip has been implanted, it can easily be read by an electronic microchip reader. This will allow anyone to identify the owner should a horse, pony or donkey ever go missing.  

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