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Minister Coughlan welcomes reduced fees for Equine passports

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today welcomed the decision by the Irish Horse Board, the Irish Piebald and Skewbald Society and Veterinary Ireland to reduce the fees they charge in connection with the provision of identification documents (passports) for equines during January and February 2008.

The Minister was very pleased to note that during the months of January and February 2008:

  • the Irish Horse Board will reduce the fee charged for passports for horses without pedigree (White Passports) to €25 per animal (a reduction of 28%);
  • the Irish Piebald and Skewbald Society will reduce the fee charged for passports for horses without pedigree (including a micro-chip) to €45 per animal (a reduction of 31%);
  • Veterinary Ireland will be recommending and encouraging its members to offer a 20% discount off their normal fees to mark and identify horses.

The Minister suggested that there was never a better time for people to get passports for their horses, donkeys, ponies, etc., and urged people to avail of the great opportunity to avail of the low cost fees in January and February 2008. The Minister expressed her appreciation of this magnanimous gesture by the Irish Horse Board, the Irish Piebald and Skewbald Society and Veterinary Ireland to voluntarily reduce fees for January and February 2008 in the interest of facilitating owners of equines in getting passports for their animals.

Minister Coughlan reminded all sectors of the equine industry that officers from her Department now have enhanced powers for enforcement of the regulations on identification of horses and advised horseowners, breeders, marts, etc. of the need to have equine passports stating that identification documents are an essential tool in the control and prevention of disease in the equine sector.

28 December, 2007

NOTE FOR EDITORS

Horse owners and all those involved in the wider equine industry should already be aware of the legal requirement that all equines must have identity documents (also commonly referred to as passports) issued in accordance with the provisions of the European Communities (Equine Stud-book and Competition) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (SI 399/2004) as amended by the European Communities (Equine Stud-book and Competition) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 530/2007).

Legislation states that:
A person shall not move onto or from a premises, enter for a show, competition, race or other cultural event, sell, supply, acquire, export, present for slaughter an equine unless it has an identification document issued in accordance with current legislation. The term "sell" is defined in the legislation as including "offer, expose or keep for sale, invite an offer to buy, or distribute for reward or otherwise (whether directly or through another person)" while "supply" is defined as giving without reward.

In summary all equines must have passports and these must accompany them whenever they are moved. A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.

A list of all organisations currently approved by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to issue identification documents for equines is maintained on the Departments website www.agriculture.gov.ie

Date Released: 28 December 2007