There are currently eight organisations approved under EU and National Legislation by my Department to maintain equine studbooks. These studbooks are subject to regular inspections by my officials. The role of studbooks includes the registration of animals, the operation of breed improvement programmes and the pursuit of measures to preserve and promote the breed for which the approval is held.
In the context of registering animals, studbooks are authorised to issue horse passports and my Department is presently engaged with Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs), including studbooks, with a view to the enhancement of security controls surrounding the issuing of passports and the security of the passport document.
My Department is also currently developing a central database which will involve the migration of selected data from Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) to the Department. The intention is that as it develops, this database will facilitate the recording of changes of ownership and other status changes. It will also be populated with information provided from records obtained from slaughter plants and knackeries.
These measures will facilitate better regulation and control of horses generally with particular reference to their slaughter for human consumption.