I have today received a reply from Defra relating to Horse passports,which as you know,is planned to come into force on Dec 31st 2003.
They had stated that horse passports will be a means of building up an equine database for the purposes of disease control and veterinary surveillance.
I questioned them on this and the reply I received today was:-
"It is thought that it might be possible to use the information contained thereon to trace horses in the event of an outbreak of an equine disease. "
Why do the phrases "disease control" , "veterinary surveillance" and "tracing horses in the event of an outbreak of an equine disease" feel me with such fear?