Submission On Passports To DEFRA Recommends Changes In Interests
Of Welfare And Utility
BEF Equine Passport, Disease Surveillance and Breeding Implementation
Planning Team submission to DEFRA in response to the invitation
to comment on the draft Statutory Instrument 2003 - The Horse Passport
(England) Order 2003 and other documents, will be sent to the Minister
today (6 June).
Team has consulted widely with representatives of the industry and
has aimed to work in the best interests of horse owners, given that
the legislation is to be implemented. The submission contains recommendations
that will seek to keep implementation within the spirit of the Commission
Directive, whilst also working in the best interests of welfare
The declaration of whether a horse is intended for the human food
chain (section IX) should not be signed until a veterinary surgeon
prescribes a controlled drug at which point the declaration will
have to be signed as "not intended for slaughter for human
Existing passports without section IX should not be recalled but
any horse presented for slaughter for human consumption without
a completed Section IX in its passport will not be accepted at the
Native semi-feral ponies listed in common land grazing registers
should be granted the same exemptions, where they are kept under
the same circumstances, as horses recorded in the lists of the New
Forest Commoners Defence Association, Dartmoor Commoners Council,
Exmoor Pony Society, Fell Pony Society and Dales Pony Society.
A horse shall not require a passport until the 31st of December
of the year in which it was born unless it permanently leaves the
premises on which its dam is normally domiciled.
The legal standing of veterinary surgeons to be clarified when giving
emergency treatment in a situation where a passport is not produced
or a passport is produced without a Section IX.
Team have taken this opportunity to draw DEFRA's attention to the
potential difficulties facing owners seeking to make an appropriate
disposal of an animal or carcase. They also warn against the danger
of further fragmentation which would be counterproductive for an
industry which is starting to act in a cohesive and uniform manner,
if the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly produce different
interpretations of the EU Commission Decision.
full text of the submission has been placed on the BEF web site
www.bef.co.uk in sufficient time
for interested parties to review it and pass further comment directly
to DEFRA before their deadline of 30 June.