A digital passport could be launched which aims to ensure the "safe" movement of horses between Britain and Europe and avoid "huge economic losses" after Brexit.
The International Sport Horse Confederation (IHSC) set up a taskforce to formulate the system which could be operational from the start of 2021 following the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.
But IHSC revealed it would need to receive the approval of European Union member states - although the federation is hopeful of gaining "strong support" from the "main stakeholders" in the continent’s horse industry.
IHSC claim the digital passport would "simplify" the movement of horses by providing EU countries with "fail-safe" information on the horse’s identity.
According to IHSC, it would also contain "up-to-date vaccination and medical records" allowing for a "higher level of monitoring and prevention of potential disease outbreaks".
If approved, IHSC said the digital passport would ensure a level of identification, biosecurity and disease detection that “goes beyond the scope” of what is currently contained in the new EU animal health law legislation.
Göran Akerström, veterinary director for the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and chair of the IHSC taskforce, stressed the importance of putting in place systems that help horses move easily between countries.
"Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the difficulties in implementing the new animal health law legislation, as well as the problems created by the global pandemic stand to adversely impact a regional industry which generates an annual revenue in excess of €50 billion ($58.5 billion/£46 billion) and provides employment for more than 500,000 people," said Akerström.
"Any obstacles to the cross-border movement of horses and associated personnel would result in huge economic losses to Britain, Ireland and France, as well as other EU member states such as Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.
"It is imperative that we put in place systems and processes to ensure the efficient and safe cross-border movement of horses and this digital passport would play a key role in that."
IHSC added the taskforce had met every week since May and was a “unique collaboration” involving the FEI, European Equestrian Federation, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities as well as the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation and European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Association.