The Eriskay Pony Society

Protecting and Promoting Scotland's Ancient Hebridean Ponies

Compulsory Microchipping for Older Equines.

Legislation was introduced in England on 1st October 2018, in Wales on 12th February 2019 and in Scotland on 28th March 2019 which makes it compulsory for all equines to be implanted with a microchip whereas previously this only applied to equines born after 1st July 2009.

Older equines have to be implanted with a microchip by 1st October 2020 in England, 12th February 2021 in Wales and by 26th March 2021 in Scotland regardless of where the passport issuing organisation is based.

This change has been made principally to make it easier to trace the owners of abandoned equines, and to help reunite owners with animals that have been stolen.

All equine passport information is now loaded to the Scottish Equine Database (SED) (for equines resident in Scotland) and the Central Equine Database (CED). It will therefore be possible to identify anyone who has not complied with this change. Whether or not this will actually be done will be up to the relevant local Trading Standards body who are responsible for enforcing equine passport regulations. 

Where a failure to comply is detected, in the first instance a compliance notice will be issued.  Continued failure to comply may result in escalation of sanctions to a fine of up to a maximum of £200.

The Society must be informed when a microchip is implanted. As the regulator for all PIOs based in Scotland, the Scottish Govt has agreed to allow Scottish PIOs a three month trial for accepting microchip barcode updates to passports in the following way.

  • Microchips must be implanted by a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

  • Check the outline diagram if you are unsure whether your pony has a microchip. The barcode sticker should be attached to it with a vet stamp and signature. If there is a barcode sticker, but it has not been stamped and signed by a vet, this may be remedied by a vet updating the outline diagram. y a vet.  The vet can use a wand scanner to ascertain if there is a microchip in the correct place on the pony and confirm it is consistent with the barcode in the passport.  If the microchip is not in the correct location, or it is not consistent with the passport or current regulations, a new microchip will be required.

  • Notwithstanding the above, before implanting a new microchip, the vet will scan to ensure there is no existing microchip. If there is they will check it as above. 

  • Once the microchip is implanted the vet then adds the microchip barcode to the top of the diagram in the passport, signs and stamps the diagram. They must also mark on the diagram with a letter M with a circle round it to show where the microchip has been implanted.

  • You then have two options for informing the Society of the change. You can either send us the passport, or email a digital image of the updated diagram.

  • If you send us the passport, the change will be processed in the normal way.

  • If you send us a digital image it can be either a scan or a digital photo. It is of paramount importance that the image is as clear as possible.  

  • An image of the entire outline diagram is required so it can be checked against the existing diagram.All images should be jpg.

  • If you take a digital photo, please take one of the entire diagram, and also a close up of the barcode.

  • The image(s) should be emailed to The covering email must contain the following information :
    • owner’s name
    • pony’s full passport name
    • pony’s passport number
    • pony’s registration number.

  • You will receive an email confirmation when the update has been successfully concluded.

You must also register the microchip with the issuer. This will normally be through the issuer’s website, but your vet can advise you on how to do so.

The digital process defined above applies to all ponies registered with a Scottish PIO regardless of where they are resident. 

No one can see any reason why this should not work, and if no issues are encountered in the trial, this will be adopted as the standard process.

The Society will still accept passports sent to us for updates in the normal manner, but we'd prefer the digital process to be followed to reduce administration. To that end, the digital process will be cheaper than the paper one. 

If you have any questions please contact the Registrar – Lorna Holden on or by using the contact form on this website.