THE Equine Sector Council is appealing to as many horse owners as possible to complete a short questionnaire on horse passports.

Defra withdrew funding for the National Equine Database in September 2012, leading to its closure.

This means there is now no central store of all British passport data, which makes it easier for unscrupulous individuals to apply for a second passport for a horse.

Tracing horses is now far more difficult and we have no way of knowing where horses are if there was to be an outbreak of an exotic disease.

The recent horsemeat scandals have only served to further highlight existing issues with horse passports.

As a result of this, a number of equine organisations are working together – and with Defra – to look at how a new database could be put in place, and also to determine what the biggest problem areas are with the existing passport system so that they can be addressed.

“To do this, we need as much information from as many different viewpoints as possible and taking a few minutes to complete this short survey is one way you can help,” said a spokesman for the British Horse Society, which is taking part in the survey.

“Together, we can make a real difference and come up with a system that works for all of us and our horses.”

Complete the survey at owner. For more details, call the BHS on 02476 840517 or email welfare@