Implementation of a robust and workable equine identification system was pinpointed as the cornerstone for equine health, welfare and management in the United Kingdom, at the 23rd National Equine Forum (NEF), held on March 5 at the Royal Society in London, England.

Whether reviewing the Equine Sector 2015 General Election Manifesto for the horse, discussing the practicalities of equine legislation, the management of health and disease control, or the future of British breeding, the common view was that an efficient equine identification database was pivotal to future success.

The forum was attended by over 200 of the country’s most influential members of the equestrian industry, including NEF President HRH The Princess Royal; Lord De Mauley TD, parliamentary under secretary of state for natural environment and science at the U.K.’s Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs; international equine veterinarians, researchers, riders, and trainers; and equestrian trade business leaders.

Lord De Mauley set the scene for the day by outlining the plans for the introduction of a strengthened, fit-for-purpose equine identification regime throughout Europe.

“A robust regulatory framework is important," he explained, "but to be effective we need people to meet their responsibilities. I would ask you in the sector to help us improve awareness and compliance so people know the importance of doing the right thing.”

The minister gave examples of how the horse industry has worked together successfully over the past year. In 2014 equine exports supported a market worth £96 million to the U.K. eco