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UK to get a centralised national database for horses this summer

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Equine passport timeline

2004: Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2004 require all equids to be issued with an identification passport.

2008: Defra launches National Equine Database.

2009/2010: New regulations for microchip identification of horses for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come into effect.

2012: National Equine Database closes following withdrawal of funding by Defra.

2013: Horse meat scandal: foods advertised as containing beef found to contain horse meat.

European Commission announces five-point action plan to tighten traceability of horses and introduce a central equine database in each member state.

2014: EU endorses new proposals requiring member states to establish a central equine database.

2016: European Commission implements Equine Passport Regulation, from January 1. All EU countries requested to have a centralised equine database by July.

2016 (May): Equine Register is appointed to develop a Central Equine Database.

2017: Defra minister Lord Gardiner says he expects the database to be fully operational by the summer and consultation on implementing the updated EU regulation will take place ‘shortly’.

THE prospect of a centralised database for horses has been discussed at every National Equine Forum for the past five years. Despite this, the UK still has no such recording system. This year, the situation is about to change.

Stewart Everett, chief executive of Equine Register, said that Defra will announce the launch of a Central Equine Database (CED), and a biometric equine passport system, this summer. Information regarding individual horses will be transferred by the Passport Issuing Organisation databases (of which there are more than 70) directly to the centralised database.

The database will finally fulfil the UK's obligation …

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