the Identification and registration obligation for horse owners The cutting and recording of their animals is already there. When the new law came into force on April 21, 2021, which made it mandatory to register horses somewhere, not every owner and every business was happy about it.
Many owners have now provided a chip (if they didn’t already have one, because that was already mandatory) with the ID number and there passport with the horse. The ID number is then linked to the UBN, which is the unique number of the location where the horse is resident. But there are also owners who find it very difficult to do the registration or who think that “the registration will not go so quickly.”
It is gradually time for these owners to take action. Because, as the rumor has it, the NVWA (Dutch Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority) is checking. We ask Mieke Theunissen, Equine Breeding Specialist at LTO Nederland, about the how and why of I&R legislation. And: Will there really be (more) strict supervision this year to ensure compliance with the law?
Why I&R Code?
First why. Theunissen: “The registration obligation is European legislation based on a better business perspective in favor of animal health. Since all European countries have their own registration system, it was difficult to communicate with each other in the event of an animal infectious disease.”
Who does not remember the rhino (EHV1) outbreak at a major competition in February 2021 in Valencia, when horses also died? “Since it was a highly contagious virus, it was necessary to find out where the horses came from in this event and where they were going,” he said. One system, it’s easy to keep track of where the horses are and when.”
There are companies or owners who consider the conspiracy theory, or who think it is a grab for money. “I&R regulations are meant to be able to monitor infectious diseases; it’s a question of the welfare and health of the horses. After all, diseases don’t take borders into account,” says Theonesen.
“Of course I can imagine people finding it annoying because it is more of an administrative burden and it takes time. The system has been around for years, but it was more focused on raising cattle, which had nothing to do with movements. (Sporting) horses are often quoted to indicate that the system Registration (always) is not necessarily easy to use. It is up to the RVO (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland) to make improvements in this area. As LTO Netherlands, we also insist on this.”
Mastering correct compliance is a challenge
Animal Code in which I&R regulations are set. Theunissen: “Right now, about 60% of the horses are UBN-bound. The NVWA regularly gives the go-ahead to do ‘physical’ checks. Then they go off to check if the horses in that pasture are actually registered with the associated company or site.”
What if the I&R registration is incorrect?
Based on digital checks conducted by NVWA—linking I&R data to Department of Agriculture databases—many entrepreneurs were not enrolled in I&R in order. “Owners or companies whose data was found to be incomplete received a letter last year stating that they needed to amend their data.”
What are the consequences for the owner or company if it is found that an I&R obligation has not been met? “It depends on the extent of the violation. Primarily, this has to do with a written warning and you still need to sort out your I&R arrangement. But if many things aren’t right, an administrative fine may follow. If the company is in serious violation, it could be The court is involved,” that is the answer.
Theunissen: “LTO Nederland urgently appeals to the 40 percent who have not registered their horse(s) and/or site. It is in the interest of your horse’s health and that of the equine sector in general. It is not out of the question that there could be another outbreak of rhinos, as in the case of Valencia, or – Closer – the outbreak of influenza that we have had to deal with in our country. Horses are fragile. We must do everything we can to prevent this kind of malaise.”
The Horse Breeding Department of the LTO Nederland
The horse breeding division of LTO Nederland represents the interests of entrepreneurs in the horse sector. Important topics include horse care, animal health, identification and registration (I&R), and tax issues. LTO Nederland works closely with other trade associations and representatives on the Equine Sector Council for this.
More about our I&R commitment
Read all about the I&R Registration Obligation for Horse Owners.
I&R record duty in the photo.
Text: Christine Dick | Photo: Istockphoto