In order to conform to law, any horse on French soil must be officially identified and registered with the SIRE [equine identification system], and should further carry a microchip to enable permanent electronic identification.
Equine identification in France became obligatory as of 5 October 2001 upon Government Order.
Any horse “without papers” must be officially identified and registered in the central registry of the SIRE (equine identification system). Identification consists of recording the horse’s natural markings and ensuring the presence of a microchip, followed by its registration in the central registry and the edition of an ID document (passport) and Registration Card.
To identify means “to describe in order to recognise in all situations”.
Identifying a horse means enhanced:
By certifying its identity at all times (presentation of a mare for covering, recording the marking of a foal at foot, control upon arrival at a training centre, verification during official competitions, or at the time of police, customs and veterinary checks, etc.);
By avoiding fines for keeping non-identified animals;
By way of proof of ownership (Registration Card);
By recognition in the case of theft;
By being informed of certain sanitary measures, where applicable, etc.
By certifying its pedigree insofar as it is known;
By registeration in the relevant studbook insofar as it qualifies, thereby providing additional market value;
By being authorised to travel at home and abroad;
By selling the horse with full-conformity identification;
By participating in a public event;
By participating in certain official breed or sports events (whether training sessions or top competitions, depending on its origins), thus increasing the horse’s value through its performances.
The two characteristic elements of horse identification are:
presence of a microchip implanted in the region of the horse’s neck; and
all relevant individual papers: ID document (Passport) and Registration Card.
Source : Les Haras nationaux