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There are laws that affect the keeping of horses in Scotland. These laws have been made in order to protect the welfare of pet horses.

Although we do not consume horsemeat in any great quantity in the UK, a large number of horses are slaughtered here and then exported as food.

Many of the drugs used to treat horses (including Bute) cannot safely enter the human food chain. It was found that some people had produced fraudulent documents in order to hide the fact that horses had been given these drugs.

Action was needed so that 75% of the drugs given to horses would not need to be banned. A ban on the use of many of the common drugs used to treat horses would have a real and devastating effect on their welfare.

Stricter laws have now been made so that all horses must be identified and all drugs given to them are properly recorded.

All foals must now be micro chipped. The chips must only be fitted by a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. You must also get an identification document (a passport) for all foals. Guidance on horse passports can be found on the Scottish Government website. A horse cannot be sold or moved without a valid passport.

It is an offence to breach the laws regarding the identification and recording of information about horses.

All owners of horses must also treat them in a way that is humane and keep them in conditions that are suitable.

You can contact us if you have either a concern or a question about any of these matters