As of 25 July 2010, any person, private or professional, keeping a horse on his land is obliged, within 6 months, to file a declaration with the French Institute of the Horse and of Equestrian Sports (IFCE), indicating the address of any place for which he is responsible and hosting a horse (French Decree no. 2010-865 dated 23 July 2010).
French Government Order dated 26 July 2010, fixing the declaration conditions for keepers of horses and places of penning, was published in the Official Journal on 6 August 2010. Hence, anyone responsible for a place hosting horses (meadows included) is now able to file a declaration with the SIRE [equine identification system].
Said declaration procedure was essentially introduced for health reasons, i.e. to record in the SIRE database all places in France hosting horses, thereby enabling the sanitary department, especially in the event of an epidemic, to quickly intervene in a suspect area and to implement all necessary measures.
The purpose of this procedure is to record all places used for hosting horses, regardless of the number and type present (declaration of places of penning), and is not intended to record the movements of horses in transit (information recorded in the Livestock Register of the establishment).
Indeed, when a horse temporarily leaves its usual place of abode (e.g. for showing, racing or competitions, etc.), this should be recorded in the Livestock Register. In addition, its place of destination should have been declared with the IFCE as place of keeping, the horse in transit being likewise recorded in the new establishment’s Livestock Register. The initial place of departure should nevertheless remain open, since the horse is due to return.
The Horse Keeper, whether or not as an owner, is a natural or legal person responsible for one or several horses on a permanent or temporary basis, this including venues for markets or fairs, for racing or competition and for exhibitions or cultural events. All private or professional persons are concerned, whether owners or not, regardless of the use of the horses in keeping, with the exception of veterinary clinics and horse hauliers. In short, it concerns all persons in charge of a place hosting a horse.
The declaration is permanent and is not subject to renewal each year. In the case of modification, the horse keeper should notify the IFCE thereof (department of SIRE) within two months, particularly if a place is no longer used for hosting horses.
Any person responsible for a place hosting horses is obliged to declare such place within 6 months of said decree coming into force.
For any new such person, said declaration should be filed before arrival of the first horse on the premises concerned. It should mention the name and address of the horse keeper, in addition to the address of the place or places where the horses are kept if different from the keeper’s given address.
Two means are provided for submitting declarations:
By Internet :
in just a few clicks, the user is able to connect to his/her private area on www.haras-nationaux.fr from where he/she is able to manage all places of keeping. For any declaration made, a receipt will be generated. Where appropriate, the user is also able to notify that no horses are under his keeping.
By post :
horse keepers not having access to Internet may request a form by simply calling the IFCE. This form should then be filled out and sent back to the SIRE for registration. The horse keeper will in turn receive a receipt by post.
Such receipt, bearing the sole identity number of the place of penning, constitutes the document to be presented to the official veterinary department in the event of control.
This declaration of places of keeping was the last piece of the puzzle to complete the equine monitoring procedure for sanitary purposes. Up until then, the sanitary department was able, on the one hand, to identify each horse by way of the generalised identification system and, on the other, their owner(s) as of when any change of ownership was filed with the SIRE. Henceforth, in order to supplement any movements recorded in the Livestock Register, all potential places of abode for horses are now recorded, thereby enabling the necessary measures to be taken in the event of a sanitary crisis.
Source : Les Haras nationaux (French National Stud Institution)