A microchip is a small implant (about the size of a grain of rice) that has a unique serial code.
It is inserted via injection into the nuchal ligament on the left side of the horse’s neck. Insertion is usually well tolerated and complications are rare. Microchips are a permanent way of identifying a horse and are tamper-proof, so unlike other forms of identification, for example freeze-marking, they are a very reliable way to ensure horse and owner are reunited in the unfortunate event of a horse going missing. The serial code is linked with the owner’s details on a computerised database so it is important to keep your information on the database up to date.
If your horse is not affected by these regulations (ie was born before 1st July 2009 and already has a passport), it is still recommended that it be microchipped as it is the best way of identifying a horse. Microchipping is not only beneficial for tracing a lost or stolen horse, but it also aids in disease surveillance and helps animal welfare organisations in cases of neglect.
For more information please feel free to give us a call to discuss microchipping with one of our vets, or see the DEFRA passport information website.