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Equine Movements

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Information about the movement of equidae to and from the Bailiwick of Guernsey

  • Changes to Equine Identification in England from October 2020

    • The following link will provide you with the relevant information. 

  • Recognised Types of Equidae from a Health and Movement Perspective

    • When determining the requirements for import or export of a equidae between territories, its health status is an important factor to consider. Currently there are two recognised categories of health status for equidae: non-registered (good) and registered (excellent).

    • With regard to their movements, an equine's perceived health status is deemed to depend upon which passport issuing organisation (PIO) provided its passport.

  • Passport Issuing Organisations (PIO)

    • Passport issuing organisations (PIO) which meet the requirements of 90/427/EC may be authorised by their Member States (MS) to appoint eligible horses to their register. Authorised PIO may register eligible horses that are resident in the MS in a stud book, record their details on a database and provide them with a passport. International organisations or societies which manage horses for racing or competition may also be approved by MS's to register horses, record their details on a database and provide passports.
      • All horses must be microchipped by a veterinary surgeon before they may be issued with a passport. The microchip provides a permanent 'link' between the horse and its passport because the microchip number, sometimes known as its Unique Equine Life Number (UELN), is recorded in its passport.
      • Foals must have a passport before they are six months of age or by 31st December of the year of its birth, whichever is the later.
      • Your horse's passport must accompany your horse at all times other than when stabled or out hacking.
      • If any horse dies or is slaughtered, the keeper must return the passport to the passport-issuing organisation within 30 days of the animal's death.
      • Changes of ownership or change of permanent address of owner should be notified to the organisation that has issued the passport within 30 days.
      • Vets are required to ask to see the passport before treating a horse. If substances unsuitable for entry into the human food chain have been administered, supplied or prescribed the owner must sign the declaration in part II of section IX.
    • Please see the "Changes to Equine identification in England" section above regarding the requirements for microchipping and passports. These changes came into force in October 2020.
    • UK approved Passport Issuing Organisations (PIO) are divided in two, those for registered horses, and those for non-registered horses.
    • The difference in certification requirements for registered and unregistered horse stems from the risk of disease introduction based on the inherent value and care provided to registered vs. non-registered horses. 
  • Registered Equidae

    • 'Registered equidae' are defined in 90/427/EC as equidae that are eligible for registration and are registered with an approved PIO that manages studbooks and are provided with a passport.
    • If your horse's passport is issued by a PIO that is on the approved list that manage studbooks then it is described as a registered horse.
      • Follow this link for the horse passport issuing organisations in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
      • Follow this link for the lists of recognised EU breed societies and breeding operations. 
    • Generally, registered horses can be shown in affiliated shows; their off-spring can be registered as pure-bred and registered horses tend to command a higher price.
  • Non-Registered Equidae

    • A 'non-registered equidae' is a horse that is recorded with an approved PIO that does not manage studbooks. Approved PIO's that do not manage studbooks can still record horses' details, including microchip number, in a database which manages horses for racing or competition and issue an identification document (passport). 
    • Generally non-registered horses cannot be shown in affiliated shows; their off-spring will be registered as part-bred and non-registered horses tend to sell for a lower price.  Not all horses with passports are therefore registered horses.
  • Equine movements to and from United Kingdom (UK), Channel Islands (CI) and Isle of Man (IoM)

    • Exports
      • Horses can be exported from Guernsey to the UK and the Channel Islands without requirements for individual import permits/licence and heath checks. However, the situation may change without notice and exporters are advised to contact the country, territory or island of destination and those of transit to check their import requirements.
      • Currently the IoM requires exporters to apply for an import licence which includes animal health declarations. 
      • Exporters should also be aware that tax and duty may be applicable to exports when entering other jurisdictions.
    • Imports
      • Please complete an animal import notification
      • Guernsey's General Import Licence allows horses, donkeys and mules to be imported directly into Guernsey from the UK, other CI and IoM without an individual import licence, provided that the country, territory or island of export is not subject to disease restrictions.
        • There is no need for owners to have a copy of the general import licence with them when travelling to Guernsey.
        • If animal health threats should change, then the general import licence will be amended to provide additional biosecurity when required.
    • Please see the "Changes to Equine identification in England" section above regarding the requirements for microchipping and passports. These changes came into force in October 2020.
  • Equine exports to the EU

  • Equine imports from the EU

  • Equine movements to and from the Rest of World

    • Please contact the States Veterinary Officers (tel: 01481 221161, email:
  • Costs

    • The cost of complying with any health checks, certification and customs requirements must be met by the importer.
  • Animal Health Threats

    • Imported midges (Cluicoides species) pose a threat to animal health in Guernsey.
      • These are the same midges which cause 'sweet-itch' in horses.
      • Midges are potential vectors for certain animal diseases such as Bluetongue & Schmallenberg Virus.
      • To reduce the risk of inadvertently bringing potentially infected midges to Guernsey from the UK in vehicles, horse owners are advised that the vehicles are sprayed with insect deterrents or insect killers before animals are loaded into them in at the point of departure.
    • Follow this link for a list of recommended insect deterrents or insect killers to spray onto vehicles and trailers used to transport horses.
    • It is also recommended that when in the UK or France horses are not unloaded or kept in the vicinity of other non-equine livestock, thereby reducing the likelihood of introducing disease to the Island from cattle, sheep, goats, llama, alpaca and pigs in the UK or France.



Animal Import Notification Animal/Animal Product Import Application Form ATA Carnet - The Basics Equine Exports to the EU Tick List Export process for Equidae to the EU Notes Equine Herpes Virus Biosecurity Equine Herpes Virus Equine ID Changes 2020 EU Equine Imports EU Equine Imports Tick List General Import Licence Insect sprays Management of Horses Returning to the Bailiwick from Europe Strategy to eradicate and prevent Strangles (STEPS) Top 10 Tips for Biosecurity

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