Every equine owner, both here in the UK and Europe, must have a passport for their donkey, mule, horse and pony.

The passport describes the donkey, for example by breed, colour, species, lists all vaccinations and notes if any medicine has been given that would affect its food chain status.

The passport names the registered owner, but is a document that belongs to your donkey. It records the identity of your donkey and must be kept with your donkey at all times, travel with them and be passed to any new owner.

The passport also records your donkey’s microchip number. This is a unique identifier which can help identify your donkey and help reunite you should they become lost or stolen. Ensuring any registered contact details are up to date will mean that owners can be easily identified and contacted in an emergency. This may be vital in rescue situations and may support equine welfare charities in their efforts to promote good welfare.

The use of microchipping became compulsory on 1 July 2009, although there has been a long period given for owners to organise microchipping and register this on their passport.

This period depends on your location:

  • England: your donkey must be microchipped and the number registered by 1 October 2020
  • Scotland: your donkey must be microchipped by 28 March 2021
  • Wales: your donkey must be microchipped by 12th February 2021.

If your donkey does not have a passport, or is not microchipped before the dates given above, then you are liable for prosecution and a fine.