Yes it is true, every equine owner, both here in the UK and Europe has to have a passport for their donkey, mule, horse and pony.
Unfortunately The Donkey Sanctuary cannot issue passports. You will have to contact one of the recognised passport issuing authorities that are listed on the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.
Once you have applied for a passport, you will have to fill out the relevant paperwork. The forms will require a silhouette drawing along with a matching written description of your donkey, highlighting distinctive markings. If your donkey is not micro-chipped then you will have to have a recognised body such as a veterinary surgeon to complete the silhouette drawing.
A passport will remain with the donkey for the rest of its life. You also have the option of signing the statement on the application form to prevent your donkey from entering the human food chain. If the donkey does not belong to you and you are the foster carer or it is on loan to you from a friend, then it is the responsibility of the legal owner to apply for the donkey's passport. You are then logged as the keeper.
Please remember that if the keeper changes then the owner must arrange for the new keeper to keep the passport up to date.
If you do not have a passport then you are liable for prosecution and a fine.
If you have any questions about donkey passports, please contact us.