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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New Equine Microchip Checker

Members of the public can now check, in real-time, whether an equine is recorded on the central equine database through a new online portal launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The equine chip checker allows visitors to check whether an equine UELN (passport number) or an equine microchip number is valid.

Successful searches will return non-personal information including:

  • Breed;
  • Sex;
  • Colour;
  • Approximate age;
  • Food chain status of the animal.
Equine Microchip Checker

By doing so, the portal will assist where an animal is discovered lost or straying as it will provide the details of which Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) the horse is registered with which will enable faster identification of the keeper or owner, according to a statement from the DAFM.

If the equine is not registered, the person checking will be provided with a link to the contact details of all approved PIOs who can be contacted directly for advice on identifying an equine animal.

Checking food-chain status prior to treatment is beneficial to equine welfare as it allows vets to make the most informed decisions on which veterinary medicine to use, the statement added.

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This initiative is in keeping with a commitment under the Programme for Government to enhance equine traceability to better support equine welfare, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.

The chip checker portal delivers a number of benefits, “consistent with this goal whether it is allowing vets to view food-chain status, prospective buyers to verify identity or assisting with the tracing of lost or stolen animals”.

Equine census

Minister McConalogue reminded all those keeping equines that it is a requirement under EU and national law that every equine living in the state is recorded on his department’s central equine database, along with details of the place where they are habitually resident.

This includes equines identified with passports from PIOs in other States and all equines imported into the state.

The minister reiterated the requirement for everyone keeping any equine animals to register the place where they are kept with his department.

He pointed out that this information, together with the data on habitual residence gathered as part of the annual equine census, provides his department with “valuable” information to ensure the health and welfare of the equine population.

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