There are four main reasons why an equine would be excluded from the human food chain:

1. Following the use of a ‘Controlled Drug’

The use of a ‘Controlled Equine Drug’ will automatically exclude the equine from the human food chain. These drugs make the meat poisonous for humans, and include Phenylbutazone, more commonly known as ‘Bute’, which is a widely used pain killer/anti-inflammatory drug. This drug was involved in the Horse Meat Scandal in 2013.

If a controlled drug is administered, the administering vet needs to record the drug information in the passport. The owner needs to update the passport to exclude the animal from the food chain and then notify the relevant Passport Issuing Organisation that the equine is excluded. The PIO will update the Central Equine Database.

Which drugs are ‘Controlled’ and exclude equines from the food chain?

2. At the Owners request

An owner can exclude their equine from the food chain at any point without reason. Often, owners do not wish to think of their equines being eaten by humans.

To do this, the owner needs to update the equine’s passport to exclude it from the food chain and then notify the relevant Passport Issuing Organisation that the equine is excluded from the food chain. The PIO will update the Central Equine Database.

3. As a result of replacing a passport

If an equine’s passport has been lost and replaced with a duplicate passport, the animal will automatically be excluded from the food chain by the Passport Issuing Organisation.

How do I get a replacement passport?


4. Due to the existence of multiple passports

If the Central Equine Database reports more than one passport associated with the same equine, the equine may be excluded from the food chain to protect human food safety.

What do I do if my equine has more than one passport?

Why can an equine have more than one passport?

© Equine Register® Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Equine Register for the purposes of basic information sharing and guidance. However, any information provided cannot and must not be relied upon and independent opinion should be sought. 

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