Inside a horses passport.

Like humans horses have passports. You identify a horse is by looking at its sex, colour, markings and microchip; all of which are recorded in the passport on what we call a ‘sketch’. Another key bit information found in a horses passport is its vaccination record which is particularly important given the recent outbreaks of equine influenza virus.

So what does a passport look like?

The image to the left is a photo of the front cover of an equine passport. Passports vary in colour and size depending on the breed of the horse; this passport is for a Welsh Cob and has been issued by the Welsh Pony & Cob society.

What will you find inside a passport?

  • Sketch of the horses markings

  • Written explanation of the markings present

  • Vaccination record

  • Microchip number

Sketch of the markings

Sketch of the markings

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The photo above illustrates the specific markings of an individual horse


Colour: Black

Head markings: large star and extending blaze involving left nostril. Flesh mark on upper and lower lip

Forelegs and hooves:

Left / nearside: white too three quarter cannon & white hoof.

Right. offside: white to knee and white hoof

Hindlimb & hooves

Left/ nearside: white too three quarter cannot. White hoof

Right/ offside: white too three quarter cannot & white hoof

Body: white line under belly.


Vaccination record

The primary course of vaccinations consists of three vaccinations and then horses require a yearly booster. Recently, some horses have been having 6 monthly vaccination if they are travelling to shows/ competitions to reduce the risk of contacting equine influenza.


Could a ham sandwich wipe out the UK pig population?

Could a ham sandwich wipe out the UK pig population?

 Pigs, like all other animals, get diseases. Some will resolve with time, some require treatment, and some sadly carry a grave prognosis. We are lucky to live on an island meaning we have a degree of protection from diseases that are rapidly spreading through Europe and elsewhere in the world. However, there is rising concern about a Notifiable disease called African Swine Fever.

 By this point you are probably curious about the connection between a ham sandwich, African Swine Fever and the UK pig population. African Swine Fever is a viral disease that spreads rapidly throughout pig populations. There are a number of ways in which the virus can infect pigs, these include:

·      Pigs coming into contact with infected pigs or their body fluids or faeces

·      Pigs coming into contact with contaminated items eg: clothing, vehicles, people.

·   Pigs ingesting infected meat products.

 The virus is able to survive for a long time in cooked or frozen pork. Pork imported from areas in the world where African Swine Fever is present could, despite the best effort of those working tirelessly to prevent the virus entering, contain African Swine Fever. This is where the ham sandwich comes in… Say you are visiting the Forest of Dean and you half eat a ham sandwich, containing meat from an infected pig, and you accidentally drop half on the floor and put your dirty sandwich into the a bin. Later that evening a wild boar rummages through the bin and eats the remaining half of your ham sandwich; there is a strong chance that wild boar could become infected with African Swine Fever. The wild boar the defecates on the road and the disease is then on the tyres of cars belonging to people visiting from far and wide and all of a sudden the virus is nationwide. 

 This blog is by no means is supposed to discourage people from enjoying a ham sandwich and is a gross oversimplification of the pathogenesis of the disease. However, it is important that we work together to ensure our commercial, wild boar, and pet pig population do not have access to pork or any other kitchen waste to prevent the introduction and spread of nasty disease such as African Swine Fever.