Welsh Hill Ponies To Be Exempted From Microchipping


Welsh hill pony farmers will receive an exemption from changes to EU horse passport legislation that require every foal and horse applying for a new passport to be microchipped.

In a statement made on 1st Jult Welsh Assembly Rural affairs minister Elin Jones has confirmed that she will exercise a derogation in the EC Regulation that exempts certain equines from the requirement that they must be fitted with a microchip linked to its passport.

She said: "Welsh hill ponies are a vital part of the Welsh countryside. The management procedures in place are necessary to meet the conditions of the derogation and provide assurances in respect of welfare and traceability."

The exemption applies to two organisations - the Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales which covers 26 individual pony improvement societies responsible for semi-feral Welsh mountain ponies on 23 hills and commons across mid and south Wales, and Cymdeithas Merlod y Carneddau, responsible for the semi-feral ponies that graze on the Carneddau Range in north Wales. Both organizations have worked closely with Assembly Government officials over recent months and provided evidence of effective management arrangements which is a necessary precursor to the derogation being exercised.

Colin Thomas Secretary of the Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales said: "The granting of this derogation from microchipping is a huge boost to the hill breeders and will safeguard the survival of the semi-feral native breed of Wales.
"Without the exemption, I am sure semi-feral hill ponies would have been in serious jeopardy." .


(c) Native Ponies Online 2009