Equine passport and transponder; application

All equidae (horses, donkeys, zebras and their crossbreeds) are subject to marking and identification. An equine passport and a transponder are required.


Correct official identification of equidae is essential, especially in the event of an outbreak of equine disease for which government control measures are required by law, such as contagious equine anaemia or African horse sickness. Only if all horses have valid and correctly completed "identification documents" can it be ensured that necessary state disease control measures can also be properly implemented.
According to § 26 of the Ordinance for the Protection against the Spread of Animal Diseases in Livestock Traffic (Viehverkehrsverordnung - ViehVerkV), every animal keeper must notify the authority responsible for animal disease law, in Bavaria these are the veterinary offices at the district offices or the independent cities, of the start of his animal husbandry, stating the type and number of animals kept. The offices for food, agriculture and forestry then allocate the 12-digit registration numbers (see also "Animal husbandry; application for a holding number" under "Related topics").

Equine Passport Regulation 2015/262

Since 1 January 2016, the new EU implementing regulation No. 2015/262, the so-called Equine Passport Regulation, has been in force. This regulation lays down identical provisions throughout Europe with regard to the identification of equidae and the form and issue of the equine passport. The introduction of the new security elements is intended to prevent forgeries and thus improve food safety for horses for slaughter, among other things.

Equine passports that have been issued properly up to now will remain valid!

With the entry into force of the above-mentioned EU regulation, every equine animal must have an equine passport within 12 months of birth, but at the latest before it finally leaves the holding of birth.
The basis for the creation of an equine passport is the identification by means of a transponder, the so-called chip. The transponder number is used to register the equine in the database of the show office and the central HIT database (HIT = system of origin and information for animals).
Responsible for carrying out the identification of equidae is the animal keeper, i.e. the person who actually has the animal in his care and is responsible for its keeping; irrespective of the purpose of the keeping and irrespective of the ownership.
The animal owner must have the transponder placed by a veterinarian or by an authorized person of a breeders' association/international competition organization.

The following bodies are responsible for issuing equine passports:

  • For registered equidae (horses with pedigree and horses, including ponies, that are registered with an international association or organisation that manages competition and race horses):
    • Breeders' Association or the breeders' association that maintains the stud book for the animal in question.
      An overview of the officially approved or recognized breeding associations or breeders' associations can be obtained from the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (see "Further links").
    • German Equestrian Federation e.V. (FN) for competition and race horses
  • For all other non-registered equidae born or kept in Bavaria, including so-called "leisure horses" and donkeys:
    • Bavarian Horse Breeders Association (Landesverband Bayerischer Pferdezüchter e. V.)

Duties of the animal owner

Among other things, the animal owner must ensure that the following identification details in the equine passport are up-to-date at all times:

  • Status as slaughter horse/non-slaughter horse
  • Status as registered or non-registered equine animal
  • Details of the owner

Necessary changes must be reported to the responsible show office within 30 days and the passport must be sent in.
The equine passport must always be carried with the animal when it leaves its home stable. Exceptions to this are grazing, rides etc. in the vicinity of the stable, training or testing as part of a tournament, emergencies and foals at foot.
Only equidae that are properly identifiable and accompanied by an equine passport may be taken into the herd.
After the death of the equine, the passport must be returned to the respective passport office.

Special notes

Further important information on the correct identification of equidae

Only the transponders issued by the above-mentioned passport issuing authorities may be used to identify equidae. Microchips, as used for dogs or cats, are not permitted for the identification of equidae in Germany.

For equidae for which, contrary to the legal requirements, a passport is not yet available, passports must also be applied for from the competent authority. Slaughter of these animals for human consumption is not possible because a so-called replacement passport is issued for these equidae.

The following applies to foreign equine passports:

  • Equine passports issued in EU member states are also valid in Germany.
  • For equidae from countries outside the EU that were imported without a recognised passport, an EU equine passport must be applied for at the competent passport-issuing office within 30 days of completion of the customs procedure.


  • The costs are to be inquired at the respective passport issuing office.

Status: 20.08.2021

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz

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Landesverband Bayerischer Pferdezüchter e.V.

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