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Industry Produces "Passports For Horses" Scheme for DEFRA On Time

The British Equestrian Federation on behalf of the horse industry has provided for government a detailed plan for passports for all UK horses and ponies - and a disease surveillance scheme.

The Federation promised the Minister for Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP to provide its own recommendations for this major project by the end of June.

"We have fulfilled our obligation as promised and on time," said BEF Chief Executive Andrew Finding, paying tribute to the work of its Implementation Planning Team.

The plan provides for passports to be issued by government approved Passport Issuing organisations. These include breed societies, sports organisations and others already involved in registration and passport issuing for horses and ponies.

BEF is asking government to fund all costs for the first two years - and to pay indefinitely for the new Central Disease Surveillance Register which would accompany the passport scheme.

Mr Finding said they were aware that the passports proposal was controversial in some areas of the horse industry, but their aim was to minimise inconvenience to horse owners, and to be as user friendly as possible.

"It is important that we co-operate with government and try to set the cost to the industry as low as possible," said Mr Finding. "It is vital that the industry itself has a proper input to an effective and fully researched national scheme for passports, disease surveillance and breeding."

He said they had been greatly assisted in preparing the scheme by representatives of breed and breeding societies, stud book organisations, the British Horseracing Board, Thoroughbred Breeders Association, ILPH, BEVA, BHS, DEFRA, State Veterinary Service, Scottish Equestrian Association, Animal Health Trust, UK Sport and many more.

The industry's recommendations were made to the DEFRA Minister, the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, by Mr Finding and by BEF Consultant Director of Breeding, Graham Suggett, on June 27, 2002 in London.

BEF is now awaiting a DEFRA decision on its recommendations.
The plan can be viewed on the BEF web site:


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